No Swindon Summer Bowl this year

By Barrie Hudson - 24 March 2021

CommunityArts and CultureAttractions
  • Last year's covid-safe events venue at the Bowl

    Last year's covid-safe events venue at the Bowl

The organisers of last year's Swindon Summer Bowl are looking for a new venue amid a dispute over hire costs.

  • The council issued a list of its charges along with its statement

    The council issued a list of its charges along with its statement

Last year the Town Gardens Bowl was home to a series of covid-safe musical, dining and cultural events organised by Fandangos Events.
The organisation says it has been unable to secure a booking from South Swindon Parish Council, operator of the venue.
The parish council says Fandangos Events asked to use the location at a fraction of the price set by councillors.
Fandangos said in a social media post: "With a very heavy heart, we announce that the
Swindon Summer Bowl
will not be operating from the Town Gardens Bowl this year and we need your help to find a new venue! We were so excited to return.
"We’ve been trying to secure a booking for the past few months and tried many approaches however our booking has been refused."
Fandangos added that new policies around the use of the Bowl were up for discussion by councillors, and meant Fandangos could only use the space for a very limited amount of time.
The statement continued: "This coupled with costings would make the project unviable. We’re disappointed but look forward to working with
South Swindon Parish Council
in the future again.
"We’re working hard to have a last attempt this week to find an attractive, secure and easily accessible (and/or central) home for our venue which realistically needs a 4-6 week residency."
The parish council meeting in question took place last night.
Afterwards Cllr Neil Hopkins, Chair of the Leisure and Amenities Committee, said in an official statement: “The Parish Council have had numerous discussions with Fandangos to block book the Town Gardens Bowl for a Swindon Summer Bowl type event last year. 
"The Parish Council have been very clear to Fandangos that they are welcome to make a booking in the Bowl but it needs to be at the charge Parish Councillors unanimously agreed at Tuesday’s Parish Council Meeting. 
"Fandangos proposed a charge that was a fraction of the charge set for the Bowl. They are welcome to use the Bowl but the Parish Council will not play favourites and charge one event organiser less than another for use of the Parish Council’s public parks. It is a matter of fairness to all event organisers."
The statement included a copy of the charging structure and continued: "If residents feel the charge is too high for events in our Parish parks they are welcome to contact local parish councillors, all of whom have just unanimously supported this charging structure. 
"It should be noted that the charge the Parish Council has set was less than what we inherited from Swindon Borough Council and all income received from events are rolled in to improving our Parish parks.
"The Town Gardens Bowl and GWR Park are both available to use for events over the summer. We welcome events in these spaces, and anybody interested in making a booking should contact the Parish Council’s Events Manager. 
"He can be contacted by email on comms@southswindon-pc.gov.uk or by calling 01793 312006. 
"Moving forward, we are looking to do extensive refurbishment work on the Town Gardens Bowl to restore this event venue back to its former glory. Residents will be hearing more about this in the coming weeks.”

 

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