THE former tourist information centre at the top of Church Street is set to be leased out, and the flat above it sold.

That was the decision of Malvern Hills District’s executive committee at its meeting on Tuesday evening.

The shop has been empty since earlier this year, when the Tourist Information Centre took up a new home at the Lyttelton Well, further down Church Street.

Committee members were told that following the TIC move, estate agents GJS Dillon were appointed to market the property for rental or sale, with guide prices for the sale of the whole at £480,000 and for the rental of the shop at £19,500 a year.

The council had received two rental offers for the shop and one to buy the whole property.

Details of the offers, and the identities of those making them, have not been disclosed, but they are in line with the agent’s guide prices.

A report to Tuesday’s meeting said that: “Either option is equally acceptable, although if the rental option is preferred this will necessitate a further marketing exercise to obtain a capital receipt for disposal of the flat.”

The decision was taken in closed session of the committee.

The move was part of a package of measures being enacted by the district council, which needs to save £1.45 million from its budget by 2021 due to government funding cuts.

An earlier proposal to move the TIC to the council house off Avenue Road generated strong opposition led by town centre traders, including a 500-name petition.

But it had to be abandoned after Priory Lodge Hall - which would have been demolished and replaced as part of the proposal - was named by English Heritage as a listed building.