Today marks the opening of our new space which provides everything there is to know about Letchworth Garden City. Discover Letchworth is a vibrant gateway to the world’s first Garden City. We are based in the Heritage Foundation’s new offices at One Garden City (we are part of the Foundation), and next to the newly launched Museum at One Garden City.
It offers a ‘one stop shop’ for all things Letchworth to everyone who lives in the town, as well as visitors from around the world. You will be able to find out about our special heritage, arts and cultural events; wellbeing activities; clubs, groups and societies, and a host of local services.
We are thrilled to be launching this new service in a more prominent location and closer to many of our arts and heritage venues. We believe this service will transform how we share information with the community, engage with local clubs, groups and organisations, and ensure visitors from around the world enjoy Letchworth’s rich heritage.
Formerly known as the TIC
If I look familiar, that’s because I, along with my lovely team, have run the Tourist & Information Centre (TIC) on Station Road for the past eight years. In 2018 we carried out a community engagement exercise to ask the public how the TIC could better meet the needs of its customers. We went out on the streets armed with clipboards and pens and spoke to dozens of shoppers. We also created a pop-up shop in the Arcade where people came in and had more in-depth discussions about the service they would like to see.
From these conversations it was clear that many people didn’t think we offered anything for them and thought we were there for tourists, not the community. Some didn’t even know we were there at all.
We took away all the feedback and categorised the themes. From this we set about bringing together a vision for a new community and visitor space. It has been very rewarding to be able to respond to what our community wanted: to develop a more up-to-date service in a more welcoming space, closer to the busiest part of town and the Foundation’s other heritage and cultural venues. We are now better placed to open our doors to the town and to people from around the world.
Garden City gifts
It has also given us the opportunity to revise our retail offer. We are excited to be working with artist and illustrator Vanessa Stone who we commissioned to work with us on a new Letchworth range for our launch. This will be part of a wider selection of unique Garden City gifts on sale at Discover Letchworth.