Another helping hand for Winchester's visitors

Visitors to the city of Winchester and surrounding District will benefit from a new network of leaflet dispensers at key attractions, hotels and other sites.

The 15 stylish new wooden dispensers are each branded with the 'Explore every inch' strapline which has been adopted by Winchester City Council's tourism service as part of its new marketing image. They are designed to ensure that visitors can pick up useful information to help them make the very most of their time in the District.

The first dispensers were installed at Winchester's Guildhall, railway station and bus station. Others will be making their appearance at attractions such as the cathedral, Winchester Military Museums Visitor Centre and INTECH; at hotels such as The Wessex, The Royal and The Winchester Hotel, and at other key points such as the new Park and Ride facility and the Brooks Shopping Centre.

There are also dispensers being installed elsewhere in the Winchester District, including Whiteley Village Outlet Shopping, the Marriott Meon Valley Hotel in Shedfield, the Royal Armouries Fort Nelson near Fareham and Marwell Hotel at Colden Common.

Winchester City Council's Marketing Officer Valerie Greenwood explains: "The idea is to make information easily available to our visitors. Each dispenser will carry an agreed set of leaflets, ranging from our Days to Treasure day visitor guide and What's On in Winchester listing to those promoting individual attractions and event.

"Each host location has promised to take responsibility for re-ordering leaflets as stocks run low, in return for the benefits to their customers and their businesses which the initiative should provide, she added."

A network of printed information points was installed in the city's car parks in 2002 with the help of funding from the Winchester Movement and Access Plan. Now, new-style dispensers have been made for each public transport arrival point in the city - the station, park and ride and bus station.

Paul Mazzotti a member of South West Trains staff at the travel centre at Winchester Station, commented: "The dispensers are a great idea. We have seen instant results, here, with a whole family clustering around the new dispenser within minutes of its installation. It makes a great deal of sense to keep all the Winchester information together. Visitors are always keen to pick up leaflets, and now we have made it that much easier for them to find what they need."

Following hot on the heels of the new information points in the Outer Close in Winchester, installation of the dispenser network will be completed in the coming fortnight in good time for the main visitor season.