London 2012: Much Wenlock 'not prepared' for Olympics

Much Wenlock
Image caption Mr Whiteman said Shropshire Council had invested £1.3m in Much Wenlock in the last year

Businesses in a Shropshire market town have said that not enough is being done to prepare for Olympic tourism.

Much Wenlock, widely regarded as the birthplace of the modern Olympics movement, is expecting a large influx of visitors around the 2012 Games.

Sharon Tinbrell, of the town's chamber of trade, said more parking and public toilets were desperately needed.

Shropshire Councillor Milner Whiteman said the authority was doing all it could to prepare for the summer.

Ms Tinbrell, who described the Games as a "once in a lifetime" opportunity for local businesses, said better publicity of events in the town over the summer was also required.

"Communication is an issue. There are quite a few of us, as retailers, who don't know what's going on," she said.

Refurbished museum

Mr Whiteman said £1.3m had been spent in the town by Shropshire Council in the last year.

Among other things, he said money had been invested in better signage and in refurbishing the town's museum, which is due to reopen next month.

He added that a plot of council-owned industrial land outside the town on the Stretton Road was expected to open as a car park in April, which would accommodate about 200 cars as well as coaches.

While the town only had two sets of public toilets, Mr Whiteman said the council had spoken to a number of cafes about making their facilities available to tourists.

Bigger events such as the Wenlock Olympian Games in July are also expected to bring in portable conveniences.

The Olympic torch is due to travel through the town on 30 May.

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