Adverts have been placed in trade journals and newspapers to invite organisations to submit proposals aimed at making Lydiard House and Park more sustainable.
Independent property advisor Bilfinger GVA has been appointed to identify joint venture partners for the Swindon Borough Council-owned park with a view to reducing the Council’s annual subsidy of £450,000.
Exploring commercial opportunities for Lydiard Park formed part of the council’s Leisure and Culture Commissioning Change Programme, which resulted in the successful leasing of the borough’s leisure and golf facilities last year.
The Council has already leased part of Lydiard to tree top adventure company Jungle Parc and regularly hires out the park for events, while the Lydiard House Conference Centre could also form the basis of potential proposals with the current lease due to expire next year.
Lydiard House and Park, which has been listed as an Asset of Community Value, will remain in council ownership and any proposals arising from the market testing will be brought before ward councillors and park users in the coming months.
The Council will be seeking expressions of interest from national, commercial and not-for-profit organisations as well as local community groups. The deadline for proposals is Friday,11 December.
The Council will also be holding two engagement events at the visitor centre so that park users can give their views on what elements of the park are important to them.
The public engagement events will take place on Wednesday, 18 November between 8.30am and 3pm and on Sunday, 22 November between 9.30am and 3.30pm.
Cllr Garry Perkins, Swindon Borough Council’s Cabinet Member responsible for Lydiard, said: “We have to make Lydiard pay for itself which is why we are asking if the market can come up with some commercial solutions to help achieve this goal.
“We want to enhance the park for the people of Swindon and this process will hopefully provide some exciting opportunities that will make Lydiard even better. I would also like to encourage members of the public to take part in the engagement events we are holding so we can take their views into account when assessing the proposals.”
David Creamore, Director in Retail, Hotels and Leisure at Bilfinger GVA, said: “We are delighted to have been instructed by Swindon Borough Council to identify and secure exciting proposals for the development and enhancement of this historic property and grounds.”
Organisations are being invited to respond by expressing an interest to the following contact details:
Bilfinger GVA London
+44 (0)207 227 2155
Bilfinger GVA London
+44 (0)207 227 2228
Residents or users who cannot make any of the engagement events can email in their views via:firstname.lastname@example.org
Pictured above; Lydiard House and grounds