Prime Minister helps to launch new Swaledale guidebook

Rishi Sunak with Richmond Information Centre volunteer co-ordinator Donal Cline and author Joe Willis.

Rishi Sunak has helped launch a new guide to Swaledale which will support a volunteer-run information service in Richmond.

The Richmond MP attended the launch of Swaledale: an Insider’s Guide at the Richmond Information Centre in the town’s market hall.

Written by local journalist Joe Willis, editor of Richmondshire Today, the 88-page guide is aimed at both visitors and local people.

Mr Sunak said: “Joe’s expert knowledge of the area shines throughout the pages of this entertaining guide to a most beautiful dale and the area around.

“His humorous insights make this a compelling read for the first-time visitor and long-term resident alike.”

Donald Cline, information centre volunteer coordinator, said: “It’s not the standard fare. In Joe’s inimitable voice, it’s a behind-the-scenes glimpse into the people and places that make Swaledale so bloomin’ special.”

Joe added: “It’s been a really fun project to be involved in and I’m really pleased with the result.”

Profits from the guide, priced at £5.99, will help cover the overheads of the Richmond Information Centre and also provide some funds to reinvest in the community.

The centre, which is open seven days a week between 10am and 4pm, is manned by more than 30 volunteers, some of whom Mr Sunak met during his visit.

Mr Sunak praised their efforts in assisting the local tourism industry.

“The centre is a great place to start a visit with a tremendous collection of guides, maps and leaflets showcasing what the area has to offer.

“The volunteers do an amazing job of helping visitors and local people to make the most of this wonderful part of the world.”