A visitor information centre serving tens of thousands of people a year is to close and be replaced with eight “pop-up” points.

As part of cost-cutting measures, Brighton and Hove City Council’s visitor information centre next to the Royal Pavilion will close at the end of this month.

In its place, tourists and day-trippers will be able to pick up advice and support from a series of new points at businesses and buildings across the city centre.


Geoffrey Bowden, the council’s economic development committee chairman, said: “This initiative is a good example of the council and local businesses working together for the good of the city and its tourism economy.

“We already employ a combination of hi-tech and low-tech approaches to marketing the city and while we’re well aware of the increased popularity of web-based information we also recognise the value of a human touch.

“We want to ensure that visitors to Brighton and Hove continue to receive a quality welcome and that this is delivered in a sustainable and efficient way, in line with market trends and within our means.”

The new points will be based at: Brighton Centre Box Office; Jubilee Library; Thistle Brighton Hotel; St Paul’s Church in West Street; Churchill Square Shopping Centre; Brighton Hotel in Bedford Square; The Old Market, off Western Road and the Royal Pavilion Shop.

They will join those already set up at Brighton Toy and Model Museum and Brighton’s Palace Pier.

Staff at all these places have received training and will be able to take over-the-counter bookings for accommodation, travel and events.

The local authority hopes to establish on-street ambassadors similar to those who welcomed visitors to London during the Olympics.

Others will be directed to use Visit Brighton’s website.

Daniel Reed, business manager at Best Western Brighton Hotel, said: “I’m looking forward to the new venture.

“It should it give us more exposure and ultimately increase footfall to our venue.”

Part of the building which housed the former visitor information centre is to be converted into a tea and sandwich shop run by a firm managed by Great British Menu judge Oliver Peyton.

Brighton and Hove City Council is currently considering a planning application for the changes from his company Peyton and Byrne, which currently runs the tea rooms in the Royal Pavilion and Hove Museum.

The rest will remain as the Pavilion Shop with a pop-up visitor stage.