WHILE tourism services in the county continue to take large cuts in funding, one market town is flying the flag high after 20 years.

The Hereford Times has previously reported that Herefordshire Council is to stop funding the county's tourist body – Visit Herefordshire – in two years' time.

Redundancies have been made and measures introduced to help account for the funding shortfall.

But Leominster Tourist Information Centre remains standing as a flagship for local tourism, and 20th anniversary celebrations are to be held later this month.

Manager, Gill Ding, said: "I consider myself so lucky. This service has been under threat of closure for so many years – I am used to the idea that one day the doors will be closed. We have been downgraded, re-structured, re-organised and actually shut down over the past 20 years, but I have fought long and hard to keep the service running.

"The town has been so supportive and people-power made it possible for us to continue as a Community Interest Company, managed by Leominster Town Council."

The centre opened initially under Leominster District Council when it was based at Grange Court and re-located to School Lane when Gill took charge.

It was then further developed in its more prominent position in Corn Square.

To celebrate the 20th anniversary, there will be an all-day party on Saturday February 22, offering tea and home-made cakes to all customers and friends between 10am and 4pm.

A collection will be taken which will be split between the TIC and Leominster in Bloom.

Since re-opening as a CIC, Gill has formed the successful 'Leominster Country Tourism Association' which has more than 120 members who are listed on the Leominster TIC website and an area guide that was funded by the Heritage Lottery grant.

For more information on Leominster Tourist Information Centre visit leominstertourism.com