A £30,000 grant from West Devon Borough Council will help to make the visitor experience at the new Guildhall Gateway Centre in Tavistock engaging, informative and fun.
The latest technology will be used to present talks, live performances, concerts and displays to share Tavistock’s rich cultural heritage. It will help to bring the area’s important story to life and encourage visitors to explore the town and nearby heritage sites.
Planned to open later in 2021, the Guildhall is run by the Tavistock Heritage Trust in partnership with the Town Council, which owns the building, and is supported by the National Lottery Heritage Fund. The Guildhall will be the eastern gateway to the UNESCO Cornwall and West Devon Mining Landscape World Heritage Site. Around 30,000 visitors are expected to flock to Tavistock each year to dig deeper into the area’s mining heritage.
Leader of West Devon Borough Council Cllr Neil Jory, said: “Tavistock has a significant role in telling the story of the internationally important UNESCO Cornwall and West Devon Mining Landscape World Heritage Site. Local people are right to be proud of this unique history and we wanted to help their story to be heard.
‘The new Guildhall Gateway Centre will be central in making Tavistock a destination for people from across the UK and beyond. With at least 30,000 visitors expected to visit each year, it will provide an important economic boost for the town and our local businesses. We’re delighted to be able to financially support the project and eagerly anticipate the opening later this year.”
Cllr Caroline Mott, West Devon Borough Council’s Lead Member for the World Heritage Site Partnership explained: “The Tavistock Heritage project gives us a fantastic opportunity to really make our mark as a destination on the UK heritage trail. This is great for the local community on many levels; we’ll attract new visitors who will hopefully spend their money locally and we keep the story of our past alive for future generations to remember.”
The Guildhall Gateway Centre will be managed by the Tavistock Heritage Trust, which will deliver a diverse, coordinated programme of events and volunteering to encourage more people to visit the town and engage with its heritage. Through the interactive displays and exhibitions, visitors will learn about Tavistock’s international architectural and historical significance. This will inspire them to go on to explore the town and nearby heritage sites either on their own or by participating in one of the activities provided by the Gateway Centre staff and volunteers.
Cllr Debo Sellis, West Devon Borough Council’s Ward Councillor for Tavistock South East added: “The Gateway Centre will provide a real catalyst to get more visitors into our town. It will also provide a hub for local people as the Guildhall will be available for community use outside of public opening hours, for example, for talks, guided tours, lectures and performances. It’s really good news that West Devon Borough Council has been able to offer this £30,000 grant which, along with the £7,500 grant I secured through Devon County Council via Invest in Devon, will play its role in putting Tavistock on the map.”