Adventure golf and a home for an arts and crafts charity are among the proposals put forward to improve some of Swindon’s country parks.
Earlier this year, Swindon Borough Council invited creative, civic-minded entrepreneurs to share their ideas on how the visitor experience at the Borough’s larger parks could be improved.
In total, the Council received 11 Expressions of Interest (EOI) ranging from the provision of new golf facilities and a range of additional recreational uses.
Following a thorough evaluation of all the EOIs that were received, the Council has decided to take forward four proposals at the current time.
These include a proposal by Dinton Golf to offer Adventure Golf at Lydiard Park and a submission by the charity Every Cloud Arts & Crafts to run the Farmhouse Garden, Sculpture Garden, Barn, Forgotten Kingdom, Workshops and Courtyard at Stanton Park.
An expression of interest will also be progressed with Jungle Parc to continue its Tree Top High and Low Rope course at Lydiard Park, while an on-site storage solution has been put forward by Swindon Model Boat Club at Coate Water.
The Council also received a bid for a golf provision at Coate Water that would operate within the current crazy golf site. But, after receiving another EOI for a golf facility after the deadline, the Council will carry out a tender exercise to ensure the Council receives best value from any bid.
A number of other submissions to operate facilities within the Borough’s country parks were submitted and the Council is keen to continue discussions with those parties to explore other opportunities, which may be taken forward in the future.
Last year, more than a thousand members of the public contributed to Swindon’s proposed Country Parks Improvement Plan, which aims to identify and then deliver improvements to the Borough’s parks so they continue to be enjoyed by visitors for years to come.
During the summer the iconic Coate Water diving board was refurbished and cleaned and work is due to start shortly on a brand-new accessible play park at Coate Water. Improvements have also been made to the children’s play area at Lydiard Park.
Councillor Matty Courtliff, Swindon Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Culture, Heritage, Leisure and Town Centre Experience, said: “Our country parks are not just the Borough’s green lungs, they are havens for people to meet, socialise and exercise. They really came into their own during lockdown and are treasured resources for so many people in Swindon. The benefits they bring to people’s mental wellbeing cannot be underplayed.
“This is why it is so important we invest in our parks and provide new and improved experiences so people continue to enjoy them in the years to come.
“I’m really excited about the proposals that have been submitted and I look forward to seeing how they develop when I visit the country parks with my family over the coming months.”