A TOWN council could be a step closer to taking over control of the Tourist Information Centre.

Lyme Regis Town Council’s strategy and finance committee met last night to discuss the long-running bid to run the centre.

The committee discussed the proposal to West Dorset District Council to transfer the Tourist Information Centre (TIC) to the town council. Press and public were asked to leave this part of the meeting due to the ‘confidential nature’ of discussions.

The bid comes after a similar undertaking by Bridport Town Council to take on the running of their TIC in January last year.

In November West Dorset District Council revealed Bridport TIC was enjoying record visitor numbers since the town council had taken it on.

Nick Thornley, head of economy, leisure and tourism at the district council said at the time that he has ‘high hopes’ for the potential transfer of Lyme Regis TIC to the control of the town council there.

Town clerk John Wright said the town council was happy to discuss the transfer, but that there was a view this could be done as part of a package, involving the potential transfer of other assets.

West Dorset District Council may be dissolved to become part of a wider, unitary authority in future, and moves are being made across the county to transfer various assets to town councils.

Speaking ahead of last night’s meeting, Cllr Cheryl Reynolds, chairman of the tourism, community and publicity committee, said she welcomed the bid.

She said: “WDDC and Lyme Regis Town Council have been discussing this for two years. What I would like is for us to be able to take on the TIC and make it into an information point as well as a TIC, so it is something that can be used by everyone.”

The recent success of Bridport TIC, as run by the town council is ‘part of the reason’ WDDC are keen for the transfer to take place, she added.

“TICs are hugely important in two ways – firstly for the tourists but also for local people. We have lost an awful lot of jobs in Lyme, with the [View From] newspaper closing down and everything else and TICs can provide useful information for local people.

“Let’s hope we can organise it as well as Bridport have done.”

If the proposal is supported by the committee, it will go forward to be discussed by WDDC before any transfer takes place.