A decision on the future of Lydiard Park and House has been delayed until the end of the year now a community bid known as the Love Lydiard Trust has come forward to trigger a six month moratorium.
The council had been due to decide who would take on the running of the site at its cabinet meeting in September but because a request for a moratorium has been made under the 2011 Localism Act that decision has been delayed.
Under the Localism Act any site classed as a community asset being put out to lease for a period of over 25 years needs to have a moratorium so that an interested community group can put in a proper bid to run the site.
The Love Lydiard Trust, which is supported by current Lydiard staff, have told Swindon Link: “The council’s decision to offer a management lease in excess of 25 years created an opportunity for community groups to submit their own bids. The Love Lydiard Trust was formed for this purpose and was the only qualifying organisation to apply to trigger the moratorium on behalf of the community. This was accepted by the Council on 9 August.
“The group now has until 22 December to provide a detailed proposition, building on the excellent proposal already submitted by the staff team.”
The group includes Lord Joel Joffe of Liddington, CEO of Excalibur Group James Phipps, TV and radio presenter Gina Akers, Lydiard Fields Action Group former chair David Barnard, Cheltenham Festival’s development director Rob Hebden and Better Swindon’s Jim Boyd.
The other bidders for the entire site are community group Lydiard Heritage Trust and commercial organisation Twigmarket which currently runs Broome Manor.