Policy C2: Information Hub
Development proposals to create an Information Hub in the City Centre, for the benefit of visitors and residents alike, will be supported. Any site should be well related to public transport, walking and cycling routes and be accessible.
4.244 The Hub (possibly to be named ‘Love Durham’) would act as a portal, signposting residents and visitors to what the City has to offer (attractions, retail services and facilities, services from statutory bodies, community groups and classes, events (ranging from small-scale to large scale)) and also to attractions outside of the City Centre. This Hub would house the function (and appropriate staff expertise) to obtain / link to / keep up to date all the necessary information and make it available via all types of media (print, Web, mobile devices, interactive screens throughout the City, mass media etc.) and via the Durham Pointers. The staff would advise providers of attractions, services and events on how to set up their own high quality information sources, so such sources can be automatically harvested. The Hub could incorporate, depending on funding and size, bookable rooms for meetings. Potential locations for the Hub could be the Town Hall or the City Public Library. Policy Implementation Project 4 in Chapter 5 indicates how this policy could be taken forward.
4.245 Information for residents and tourists is scattered in physical locations around the City and on a variety of websites (with their own social media connections). There is no central focal point for information, for residents and visitors. The Tourist Information Centre, which previously provided an Information Hub for tourist attractions and ‘what’s on’ in the City, was closed by the Council in 2011. The results of the Forum’s priority survey (Durham City Neighbourhood Planning Forum, 2015) showed that residents wanted the Tourist Information Centre to be restored, in a central location, but for its remit to be extended to cover general local information. They thought such a centre would provide the information to encourage visitors to stay longer in the City. Durham County Council aims to encourage visitors to stay longer and this policy would support that aim – all information would be in one place and made accessible by a variety of methods. Such a facility would foster greater local community activity and support the success of local events: a common reaction from residents is ‘we didn’t know it was on!’
Next section: Policy C3: Provision of New Community Facilities