A popular tourist destination in South Derbyshire could be run by a new management as the current contract comes to an end next year.
An invitation to tender for the management of Rosliston Forestry Centre has been issued by South Derbyshire District Council on behalf of the Rosliston Forestry Centre Executive, which is responsible for the development of the site.
The 158-acre site includes a mix of woodland and meadow, ponds and play areas for visitors of all ages and physical abilities, all year round. People go to spot the wildlife, join a guided walk, enjoy a picnic or take advantage of the programmes of events. It has been awarded a TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence for 2017.
The facility, jointly owned by the district council and The Forestry Commission, was the first visitor centre in The National Forest and has been run by the current management company, on behalf of the partnership, since 1999. The contract comes to an end on March 31, 2018.
The successful bidder will be responsible for the effective management of all the buildings within the scope of the commercial operation, including the visitor centre, retail space, meeting rooms, indoor and outdoor play areas and the popular log cabin accommodation.
The management of the woodland will remain with the Forestry Commission as part of its extensive forestry work across the Public Forest Estate.
The council has revealed there has been a high level of interest in the tender exercise, but said in the unlikely event that no submissions are made, it has contingency plans in place to ensure the continued smooth running of the centre while it reviews its position.
The aim is to continue to balance the needs of the thousands of visitors attracted to the centre each year with the aim of achieving a sustainable economic business.
The council and the Forestry Commission are following a ‘Competitive Procedure with Negotiation’ procurement exercise, which provides the opportunity for the partners and the bidders to work together to develop the most appropriate outcome for management of the centre.
The link to find full information on this process and the tender criteria can be found on the homepage of www.south-derbys.gov.uk .
The deadline for submission of tenders is Friday, September 15, 2017 and the successful bidder is due to be announced in December 2017.