Droit House visitor information centre to remain open after Thanet council secures extra time on property lease

Droit House Photo Frank Leppard

Thanet council says Droit House’s Visitor Information Centre will not be closed after the authority secured another year on the lease of the property.

However, delivery of the service is being reviewed.

Fears were raised this month that the service would shut as part of a cash-cutting drive by Thanet council.

Staff confirmed an expected closure date of visitor information centre of April 22. Sources also confirmed some staff are in consultation over possible redundancies.

But Thanet council says securing the lease means that time can now be used to review the future of the information service.

A Thanet council spokesperson said: “”We can’t comment on the specific staffing matters, what we can confirm is that the Visitor Information Centre at Droit House is not closing.

“We have secured an additional year on the lease for Droit House to ensure that it remains open. During this time we will have discussions about how we will deliver visitor information in the future.

“Tourism is an integral part of our ongoing success as a destination. We are currently in the process of reviewing how we will continue to deliver this in the future to ensure this remains a successful part of our local economy.  This is in the wider context of the council facing serious financial pressures.

“We will be meeting with the Chief Executive of Visit Kent to explore our options and continue to work closely with our partners to support Margate hosting the prestigious Turner Prize later this year.”

The property, as part of the Stone Pier, was compulsorily purchased by the  council in the 1990s. That was followed by renovation at Droit House.

The Stone Pier was later leased to Margate Harbour Arm Ltd for just £1 per year and Droit House transferred to Kent Councty Council. The property was then leased back to Thanet council.

Local tourism brings in some 4.2 million visitors with an annual £319 million spend to the Thanet economy each year, supporting 7,950 jobs.