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Last Updated: Friday, 19 December, 2003, 09:24 GMT
Visitor boom stretches facilities
Alnwick Gardens
The gardens include impressive fountains
The town of Alnwick must modernise if it is to cope with its visitor boom, according to a new survey.

The Alnwick District Council survey studied the impact that The Alnwick Garden has had on the town during the summer season.

The 15m garden attracted more than 500,000 people since April, many of whom also visited the town.

But although many visitors were happy with their trip, the survey found that the lack of car parking and toilets were top of the complaints list.

Rosemary Glass, from the District Council said the success of the garden and the attention it had attracted on a national and international scale had been "phenomenal".

The survey revealed that the average business turnover in 2003 was 30% higher than last year.

Under pressure

But as visitor numbers have risen, the council's toilets, street cleaning and car parking services have come under pressure.

The council is hoping to employ more part-time seasonal staff to cope with the demand.

Business leaders and the council are working together to see how the town can improve by next season.

David Jackson of In Business said he would be working with The Alnwick Garden to try to "identify any gaps between visitor expectations and the services currently being provided by businesses."

The gardens in the grounds of Alnwick Castle are a mix of technology, horticulture, architecture and civil engineering.

There are more than 65,000 flowers and shrubs, with varieties of plant from across Europe, and a central cascading water feature.

Leading Belgian garden makers, Jacques and Peter Wirtz, designed the 26-acre site.



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SEE ALSO:
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