The results are in from the consultation on what should happen with Lyme Regis Tourist Information Centre (TIC).

It was announced last year that the service, currently based in the town council offices, could closed after a dispute between Dorset Council, which provides the service, and the town council in which it served notice to Dorset council to vacate the premises after discussions broke down.

Overall, 1,128 people responded to the consultation, 91 per cent were individuals and 9 per cent were businesses, with 258 being visitors and 438 were residents.

The consultation document explained that “whilst the TIC does generate income, it is costing the council approximately £87,000 in funding this year to support the service and this cost is increasing each year”.

The options were to close the TIC and no longer provided a face-to-face service and invest in the Visit Dorset website, which is Dorset Council’s preferred option, close the TIC and provide a self-service capability such as a touch screen terminal, or consider the provision through another delivery model, such as volunteers.

More than 1,070 people - 95.2 per cent - strongly disagreed or disagreed with closing the TIC and focusing on the website, with 40 people - 3.6 per cent - agreeing or strongly agreeing. It was felt by 618 people - 56.6 per cent - that the closure would affect their organisation or business a great deal.

In relation to closing the TIC and providing a touch screen terminal, 89.1 per cent disagreed or strongly disagreed compared with 5.9 per cent that agreed or strongly agreed and 84 per cent felt their organisation or business would be affected.

The majority - 53.1 per cent - disagreed that the TIC should be delivered through the voluntary sector, with 32.2 per cent agreeing it should.

The report stated: “There was significant support for using a voluntary model, but many preferred a mixture of paid and volunteer staff. Others stressed their concerns over the reliability of volunteers.

“Co-location with another organisation was well supported with The Pavilion being the most popular location. There was some support for the town council running the TIC, but the main support was for Dorset Council and the town council to jointly run the TIC. There was only limited support for local businesses running it.

“Whilst an alternative delivery model had some support there was still a major undercurrent who felt the TIC should remain as is with no change.

“Whilst many (440) mentioned that the best solution was no change to the staffing and venue, at the same time 360 felt the TIC could locate to another unspecified location. There were 385 specific mentions of locations. The most popular suggestion was to use the Jubilee Pavilion with 180 mentions.”