New UWE shop-front opens at Tourist Centre in Watershed

Issue date: 19 January 2010


From left: Paul Gough, Barbara Janke and James Beresford Potential University of the West of England students can now drop in to a new 'shop-front' in the centre of Bristol to find out about courses, enrol for Open Days or request a prospectus. The UWE shop and exhibition space is part of the newly-opened Tourist Information Centre (TIC) in the heart of Bristol's historic harbourside.

Bristol now has a brand-new, purpose-built information centre, superbly located in E-Shed, next to the Watershed Media Centre. The TIC is aimed at meeting the information needs of visitors and local people as well as housing the unique drop-in information point for UWE.

UWE's Deputy Vice-Chancellor John Rushforth said, “We want to ensure higher education is accessible to all. UWE's presence in this new water-side venue provides another location for anyone wishing to find out about UWE's courses and facilities. There will be computers where visitors can request a prospectus, enrol for courses, purchase tickets for events or find out about UWE's new Exhibition and Conference Centre. The travel information desk means new students will be able to collect their bus passes, saving them an initial journey to Frenchay campus.

“This is a perfect city-centre 'shop-window' for UWE's Public, Community and Business Engagement work and will also provide an ideal rendezvous point for students in the city centre.”

First visitors to the centre included Paul Gough, UWE's Pro Vice-Chancellor, Research, Enterprise and Knowledge Exchange; Barbara Janke, leader of Bristol City Council; James Beresford, Chief Executive of Visit England and John Hirst, Operations Director for Destination Bristol.

The range of services offered by the TIC include accommodation bookings, the sale of tickets for events and visitor attractions, a wide selection of gifts, souvenirs, maps and travel guides, plus general advice and assistance on how to make the most of visiting, living in or travelling around Bristol.

From next term it is planned that the centre will provide placement work experience for a UWE student, possibly studying on a tourism course. Other exciting additions will include exhibition space, where local artists including UWE students can sell their artworks or jewellery.

Councillor Barbara Janke, leader of Bristol City Council and co-chair of the Destination Bristol Board said, “Bristol has long been deserving of a great tourist centre. We now have a brand new, dedicated space that will provide a truly first-class visitor experience. I am delighted that the centre is now open and will benefit not just those visiting Bristol, but local residents as well.”

Creation of the new centre has been led by Destination Bristol in partnership with the Watershed, with support from South West Regional Development Agency and other key partners, including UWE and Bristol City Council.

Dick Penny, managing director of the Watershed, said: “It's fantastic to see new life being breathed into E-Shed. We're really excited about helping to promote Bristol. We really hope that lots of local people, as well as those from further afield, will pay a visit, to remind them of just how much there is to see and do here in our great city.”

The new centre will be open seven days a week from 10.00 to 17.00, to be reviewed in the summer. E-shed is located overlooking the water, next door to Watershed, Canons Way, Bristol BS1 5TX, telephone number 0333 321 0101.

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