Swindon Link will be hosting a public debate about the future of Lydiard Park and House on Monday 15 February.
Participants will include Friends of Lydiard Park, The Labour Group and Swindon Borough Council and will start at 7pm at Swindon Link’s offices at Arclite House in Hillmead.
Please follow the link at the end of this article to get your free ticket for the debate as space is limited.
The debate comes after Swindon Borough Council revealed in the autumn that they were asking for expressions of interest to take on a lease of the site as they can no longer afford the subsidy due to Government cuts.
Swindon Council’s cabinet are due to meet on Wednesday 10 February to decide whether to put the bidding process out to formal tender and what the deadline and the criteria will be. The deadline will include a three month extension after The Friends of Lydiard Park lobbied for time for a staff trust bid to be put together.
The council has confirmed that, even if no expression of interest has been made before the cabinet meeting, organisations will still be able to put in a formal bid after that time and they will let people know the process for that.
So far nine different organisations have come forward to run the site in whole or in part including a bid by its current staff, which The Friends revealed they will be supporting at the end of a public meeting attended by 600 people which was held at Lydiard Park Academy on 12 January.
The Friends were formed in 1962 and are an independent charity dedicated to supporting the conservation and continued enhancement of Lydiard. The house and park was bought by the Swindon Corporation in 1943 for the people of the town.
Councillor Garry Perkins, cabinet member for Economy, Regeneration and Skills, said: “As a council we are having to make some very difficult decisions as we simply do not have the money any more to carry on as normal.
“Let me just make it very clear. We are not putting Lydiard up for sale. It will still be owned by the people of Swindon. Everyone will still have the same access to the house and gardens and the heritage will be preserved but it needs to be made financially viable by a third party for it to continue.”
A motion was carried by the Conservative group at full council on Thursday 21 January. It read: “This Council requests that the Board Director, Service Delivery ensures that the report scheduled to go to Cabinet in February sets out a timetable allowing a further three months for all proposals to be developed more fully so as to reflect the Council’s goal of securing a sustainable future for Lydiard House and Park.”
The public debate takes place on
Monday 15 February, 7pm
at Positive Media Group,
Arclite House, Century Road, Hillmead, SN5 5YN.
Places are limited so you will need to register for a free debate ticket at
We are also carrying out a survey to find out what people would like to see at the site. You can fill this in at bit.ly/Lydiardparksurvey