HELPFUL: Maurice Tarn, Suzanne McBain, Denise Charlton, Maggie Cleminson, Ian Tallentire, Lynda Bares and Doreen Heyes celebrate another successful year for Middleton-in-Teesdale Tourist Information Centre
HELPFUL: Maurice Tarn, Suzanne McBain, Denise Charlton, Maggie Cleminson, Ian Tallentire, Lynda Bares and Doreen Heyes celebrate another successful year for Middleton-in-Teesdale Tourist Information Centre

THE only independent tourist information centre in County Durham is desperately in need of volunteers as it looks forward to a new year revamp.

Although it is ticking over nicely Middleton-in-Teesdale Tourist Information Centre has had to limit the time it is open to the public because of a shortage of people to manage the facility.

Nevertheless, volunteers and supporters were treated to mince pies and a cuppa shortly before Christmas in recognition of their work during 2018.

The centre, which was started in 2000, is due to be refurbished this year thanks to grants from, among others, Teesdale Action Partnership.

Denise Charlton, of the centre, said new carpets, units, doors and windows would be fitted during the makeover of the grade II-listed building.

She added: “It is the arch that is listed, but because the building is in the curtilage – which means it is attached to it – the whole building is listed.”

A recent grant from Northern Heartlands has seen a number of new leaflets being produced, which can be downloaded onto mobile phones for visitors and villagers alike to use when walking around.

The brochures include a walk about the village, a railway walk from Romaldkirk to Middleton and walks up to Bowlees and Holwick.

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Leaflets have been handed to shops and venues in the town so that visitors can access them even when the centre is closed.

A new website is also due to be launched in the near future as part of the project.

Ms Charlton said the type of tourists who visit the

centre is diverse, including botanists and those interested in flowers, birdwatchers, cyclists, walkers and those interested in culture and heritage.

About 100 visitors passed through the centre’s doors each week during the summer months in 2018.

Chairman of Middleton-in-Teesdale Tourist Information Centre Ian Tallentire said: “The number is down this year mainly because we haven’t been able to open as much.”

Ms Charlton added: “Unfortunately we are desperate for volunteers. We would really like to get some young people. We hope to get some money for an apprentice so we can get some young people involved.”

Anyone interested in helping out can email tic@middletonplus.myzen.co.uk or leave a message on the answerphone on 01833 641001. Alternatively people can contact Mr Tallentire on 01833 640200.