Five organisations have submitted proposals to take over the running of Lydiard House and Park.
Swindon Borough Council’s Cabinet agreed in February to invite formal bids to run the park with the aim of reducing the Council’s annual subsidy and ongoing maintenance for the popular attraction.
Last year the park cost the Council £460,589, up slightly from the previous year (458,000).
The deadline for submitting bids to run Lydiard was last Friday (8 July) and they will now be scored against a set of criteria.
The Council will interview bidders next week before further clarifications relating to the bids are sought. It is hoped that either a preferred bidder will be presented to Cabinet, or councillors will be asked to carry out due diligence on a range of bidders, at its meeting on 7 September.
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. This secured a sustainable future for these important facilities, which are no longer reliant on subsidies from the Council.
The Council will not be announcing the names of the organisations who have submitted bids to run the historic house and park on the grounds of commercial confidentiality. It is understood that there are two community bids and one commercial bid for the whole site and two parties interested in running part.
Cllr Garry Perkins, Swindon Borough Council’s Cabinet Member responsible for Lydiard, said: “We were encouraged by the response we received from our initial soft market testing and so it is therefore pleasing that we have received a number of formal bids to run Lydiard House and Park.
“A thorough examination of these bids now needs to be carried out so cabinet can consider the proposal which will provide the best future for Lydiard House and Park.”