Broadstairs Information team fundraising for new base due to termination of kiosk lease

The Broadstairs Information Kiosk

The Broadstairs Information team is fundraising for the costs of setting up a new base after it was confirmed Shepherd Neame will terminate the lease on their kiosk at the end of June.

The volunteers have manned the kiosk, in the grounds of The Royal Albion, for the past 12 years, to share information about the town and its attractions to visitors and residents.

But now the information service, which is a joint venture between town organisations, businesses, councils and volunteers, will need to move to a new base and fundraise to help with the expenses for that.

The lease for the kiosk expires on June 30, meaning the team will be there from Easter until the termination date.

Broadstairs kiosk team members

Information kiosk manager Gina Harrison said: “Raising funds is our main aim. We have been lucky so far because Shepherd Neame didn’t charge us for using the kiosk, but all good things come to an end.

“We are now looking onwards and upwards and are focusing on the new kiosk. As always we are supported by our amazing volunteers who number over 40, and The Chamber of Commerce, Broadstairs and St Peter’s Town Council, BTLA and Visit Thanet.”

A statement from the group says Shepherd Neame feel use of the kiosk would add significant commercial value and customer options to their offering.

The Information Kiosk was established in 2011 to provide a warm welcome and useful information to visitors to and residents in Broadstairs and St. Peter’s.

The group statement adds: “We are grateful to Shepherd Neame for providing the kiosk for our use for the past 12 years. We are now in the process of identifying a new site.

“There will be expenses involved in setting up a new kiosk including the purchase of a work shed, planning permission, and fitting it out.

“To help with these costs we are running some fundraising quiz nights, donations are also welcome. If you would like to make a donation towards helping us achieve our goal, there is a Donate button on our website All donations gratefully received.

“We will be open as usual at the existing location from Easter and look forward to seeing you all then.”

Ruth (second from left) with the team in 2018

Broadstairs councillor Ruth Bailey, who is part of the information team, says the aim is to get a new site up and running with no break in the service.

She said: “It was very sad to receive the news that our lease was being terminated after twelve years, although we are grateful for the time we had in such a prime and prominent position. Where it is, the kiosk is ideally situated on the promenade with visitors having to pass by as they come down the High Street towards the beach.

“I started volunteering in the VIK when it first opened in its current spot under the then manager Barbara Wallace before Gina Harrison took over the role as manager. Over the last 12 years there have been many different volunteers manning the kiosk including several of us who have been there since the beginning.

“Both as a volunteer, and as a councillor for Viking Ward, I know first-hand what a valuable provision this Information Kiosk is for the town. We greet over 20,000 visitors and residents each year providing information and advice. We also spend time talking to those who may not speak to anyone else all day, it is a true community provision.

“We hope to have another site up and running, without a break in service, and are working hard with all parties to achieve this although it will require some initial, and ongoing, funding.”

Shepherd Neame’s Managing Director, Pubs, Jonathon Swaine said: “We have provided free use of our hotel’s external kiosk to Broadstairs Town Council for the past 12 years and can confirm that after careful consideration we have taken the decision not to renew the lease when it ends on June 30.

“We plan instead to repurpose the space to provide additional facilities to enhance our customer experience. We have offered to host a tourism information display in our hotel and have also pledged our support for fundraising activities to create a new permanent site for this important service.”

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