THE BRONTË Society will return to its original home after winning the chance to run Haworth’s Visitor Information Centre. Bradford Council today rubber-stamped the bid by the society to run the Main Street facility in addition to its existing Brontë Parsonage Museum. The museum devoted to the Brontës’ lives and works was first housed in the small stone-built building at the junction with Changegate. The council’s ruling Executive voted to allow the society to take on the threatened service, which for many years has provided information to tourists about local attractions and accommodation.
The council had Brontë Society executive director Kitty Wright said: “We welcome the council’s decision and the opportunity to work with them to continue the delivery of visitor services in Haworth. “The museum is an award-winning attraction currently welcoming over 70,000 visitors a year and we look forward to stepping up to the challenge of ensuring that visitors old and new discover all that the Bradford area has to offer. “The museum’s first home was in the building which now houses the Visitor Information Centre on Main Street and it seems particularly fitting that we will return there during our bicentenary celebrations to promote this corner of Yorkshire to the world.”
The Brontë Society is currently in the second year of its five-year celebration of the 200th anniversaries of the births of the Brontë siblings, Charlotte, Branwell, Emily and Anne.
Bradford Council launched a public consultation earlier this year regarding the future of its tourism service as it bid to slash costs. Campaigners vowed to fight any attempt to close the Haworth facility.
Under the plan approved this week, the Brontë Society will take over the lease of the Haworth VIC building in Main Street. Provision will be based on the current seven-day opening and a full range of Discover and Visit Bradford guides would be carried. The promotion of local and district events and accommodation providers in Haworth would continue, as well as a ticket agency service.
Bradford Council launched a public consultation earlier this year regarding the future of its tourism service as it bid to slash costs.
As part of district-wide changes, also approved by the Executive, Ilkley VIC will be funded by the town’s parish council, Shipley College will have an information point in Victoria Hall at Saltaire and Bradford VIC will remain in its current location until 2019 while new options are developed.
There will also be a team of ‘pop up’ volunteers at key events across the district to act as ambassadors, and a tourism digital media officer. Cllr Sarah Ferriby, the council’s executive member for environment, sport and culture, said the ‘visitor economy’ currently generated around £612 million for the district