Lydiard Park is in danger of being handed out of Swindon Council control.

This Is Wiltshire: Lydiard Park Lydiard Park

CONCERNS have been raised over the future of some of Swindon’s most treasured spaces as Lydiard Park is in danger of being handed out of council control.

As part of the Leisure and Culture Exchange Programme, talks are ongoing to relinquish control of leisure centres around the town to allow the council to cut costs.

And the Friends of Lydiard Park, among other stakeholders, have been approached by the council to discuss the possibility of taking on some of the administration of Lydiard House.

Coun Cindy Matthews (Lab, Lydaird and Freshbrook), has appealed to save the local park.

“All the sports centres are up for an optional appraisal, and Lydiard Park, as a country park, is next in line,” she said.

“The council are saying that they cannot continue to subsidise them, but I would ask what sort of country are we living in if we are to auction off all our lovely spaces?

“Sports centres are different because they are looking for a chain to come in and take them over, but the future of the country parks are a little more murky.

“The council cannot afford the investment and subsidy, but for children to swim and skate is a fundamental part of their childhood.

“It is all just about cutting costs. Our complaint is that they can find £15m for a new car park but have to sell off their valuable assets.”

In 2003 the park received a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund, which sought to revitalise the area.

“They have to be careful what they do with the park because they received a lottery grant, and that needs to be preserved,” added Coun Matthews. “They restored the lake and put in a new dam, and they did a beautiful job. It used to be a muddy puddle, but now it looks magnificent.

“We have got three lovely country parks in Swindon, and I think they are a real asset to the town, so they should be retained.”

A Swindon Council spokesman said: “We are facing unprecedented financial challenges and it has been well documented that we are looking at alternative ways of providing the town’s current leisure and cultural services.

“Part of that work involves identifying and developing commercial and/or charitable opportunities at sites including The Platform, Lydiard House and Park, Coate Water Country Park, Stanton Park and Steam.

“We have met various stakeholders who have indicated an interest in this part of our Leisure and Culture Change Programme, but these have been preliminary discussions no proposals have been put forward.

“We expect a report on potential opportunities will be brought before Cabinet in February next year.”

Comments (6)

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10:25am Wed 4 Dec 13

jackdawson says...

O. M. G.
O. M. G. jackdawson

12:29pm Wed 4 Dec 13

dglaholm says...

I look forward to the Labour Groups budget proposals ...
I look forward to the Labour Groups budget proposals ... dglaholm

12:36pm Wed 4 Dec 13

Davey Gravey says...

Why are the Tories hell bent on selling everything or privatising it?
This has to stop!
Why are the Tories hell bent on selling everything or privatising it? This has to stop! Davey Gravey

12:39pm Wed 4 Dec 13

Stefan Kuntz says...

If we knock down the stately home, bulldoze the church and those stupid trees, concrete over the lake - imagine how much affordable housing and high-rise 1 bed apartments we can build!

£££ = Progress.
If we knock down the stately home, bulldoze the church and those stupid trees, concrete over the lake - imagine how much affordable housing and high-rise 1 bed apartments we can build! £££ = Progress. Stefan Kuntz

12:42pm Wed 4 Dec 13

Alan B'stard says...

Spot on Herr Kuntz.

Lydiard Park has been allowed to be a white elephant for too long. It's about time this eyesore was torn down and replaced with housing and local shops.
Spot on Herr Kuntz. Lydiard Park has been allowed to be a white elephant for too long. It's about time this eyesore was torn down and replaced with housing and local shops. Alan B'stard

9:38pm Wed 4 Dec 13

roberto5 says...

Stefan Kuntz wrote:
If we knock down the stately home, bulldoze the church and those stupid trees, concrete over the lake - imagine how much affordable housing and high-rise 1 bed apartments we can build!

£££ = Progress.
It wouldn't surprise me at the least Stefan, the park is currently being run on a minuscule budget, hardly any staff work there now, the heritage lottery protection of the site is running out. Perfect opportunity to develop part of it, they got permission to build on the field's next to Grange Park after a long fight! Why can't the council generate more revenue from the place?! Pay to park anyone?
[quote][p][bold]Stefan Kuntz[/bold] wrote: If we knock down the stately home, bulldoze the church and those stupid trees, concrete over the lake - imagine how much affordable housing and high-rise 1 bed apartments we can build! £££ = Progress.[/p][/quote]It wouldn't surprise me at the least Stefan, the park is currently being run on a minuscule budget, hardly any staff work there now, the heritage lottery protection of the site is running out. Perfect opportunity to develop part of it, they got permission to build on the field's next to Grange Park after a long fight! Why can't the council generate more revenue from the place?! Pay to park anyone? roberto5

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