A LANDMARK Lake District tourist information centre at risk of closure may yet be kept open for visitors, a meeting was told yesterday.

Windermere Tourist Information Centre faces sale at auction if no-one comes forward to run it, its council owners have warned.

But Caroline Leigh, SLDC’s economic development and asset manager, told a meeting of the Cabinet that there had been significant expressions of interest in taking over the building.

This included groups and individuals wanting to run it with a tourism focus.


Coun Chris Hogg said it was unlikely the building would be taken over until at least the start of the new tourism season in 2015.

Council officials have not revealed which parties are in talks over the building.

The Lakes Hospitality Association has held the lease for the last three years and outsourced the running of the service but has told the council it now wants to terminate the lease from October 31 .

Council leader Peter Thornton told the meeting: “We’ve given a local group a chance to run this and make it work but it hasn’t really. We want to see a face-to-face tourist type-use there ideally. We don’t want to see it as a chip shop - not that I’m against chip shops.”

Any new organisation would have to commit to a lease and it has raised £20,000-a-year in rent for SLDC in the past.