Visitor numbers rocket at town heritage centre

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VISITOR numbers have soared at Caistor’s heritage centre with thousands of tourists coming to the town in the past month alone.

People from across the country have travelled to Caistor to visit the £430,000 lottery-funded Arts and Heritage Centre after it appeared on the BBC’s Village SOS programme – a documentary following the team working to turn the town’s former Methodist chapel into a community facility.

And now more volunteers and a cafe assistant are urgently needed to cope with the surge in demand – the centre only opened in April and already has 50 unpaid employees and several paid workers.

Centre director Nathan Archer said: “We’ve been bowled over by the number of visitors we’ve had – it really has taken us all by surprise.

“We knew the TV show would generate some interest but weren’t prepared for this.”

Mr Archer said the centre relies heavily on help from volunteers to provide a quality service. He said: “Our volunteers are the lifeblood of the centre – we can’t do it without them. ”

Visitors from as far afield as Scotland and Hampshire have enjoyed Caistor Arts and Heritage Centre’s exhibitions, time line of the town, library and cafe.

Mr Archer said the number of cafe visitors more than trebled over the August bank holiday weekend and staff worked extra hard to meet demand.

The library has seen a 300 per cent increase in new registrations and has extended its opening hours which now mean the library is open seven days per week. Mr Archer said this has led to a huge rise in library users.

Caistor Arts and Heritage Centre would like to hear from anyone interested in the cafe assistant position or volunteering, particularly for weekends in the cafe and library.

Call 01472 851605 for details.