No tourism sign for Setch antiques centre as council is criticised for 'outdated' policy
Road safety is being put at risk by officials’ refusal to put up a brown tourist sign pointing the way to a popular West Norfolk antiques centre, it has been claimed.
Managers of the Warehouse Antiques and Collectables centre at Setch, which celebrated its first anniversary yesterday, estimate up to 40,000 people have visited the site over the past 12 months.
But, because of Norfolk County Council policies, there is no indication of where the building is off the A10, something which the centre and a local councillor believe must change.
Marketing manager Amanda Waterfield said the Garage Lane site is already the fifth most visited free attraction in the county and drivers were regularly having to turn round on the A10 after missing the turn.
She said: “A brown tourist sign is universally recognized as a precursor to something of interest for everyone. The diversity of the Warehouse endorses that.
“It’s especially prevalent during the tourist months, where the traffic is so busy this symbol helps strangers to the area and direct the traffic safely. These signs will only help to assist tourism.
“Why is an antique centre sign recognised as a tourist attraction throughout the country but not in Norfolk?”
A county council spokesman said: “Our policy is that brown tourism signs are used for attractions such as theme parks, historic buildings, museums and zoos, and would not usually be considered for retail outlets, shops or shopping centres.”
He added that the stance had been voted for by councillors and would have to go back to the authority’s environment, development and transport committee to be reversed.
But the village’s county councillor, Alexandra Kemp says the authority’s stance is out of date.
She said: “Norfolk needs to move with the times. It is no longer just castles or abbeys that are tourist attractions.”