Groups and organisations interested in managing the county’s countryside estate are being invited to make their applications.
Over 60 groups attended two open days in September to find out more about taking over management of the sites.
Now applications for the tendering process, the formal start to finding the sites’ new caretakers, are being taken. Groups have until 17th March 2017 to do so. Organisations can make their application at https://www.staffordshire.gov.uk/environment/eLand/Countryside/Countryside-Estate-Review/.
Staffordshire County Council’s countryside estate includes six country parks, nine picnic areas and three disused railway lines, and is well-used and highly valued by its communities.
Mark Winnington, cabinet member for economic growth at Staffordshire County Council said:
This is the next step in our project to help find an effective way of running our countryside estates and protecting them for future generations to enjoy.
“From the very start we have said that the estate will remain in the ownership of Staffordshire County Council, but the question has always been how best to manage the diverse country parks, greenways, picnic and other areas for everyone’s benefit and enjoyment in an affordable manner.
“We know there are lots of different organizations, groups and businesses out there with the passion, skills and know how to run our estates. This is now their opportunity to come forward and submit their tenders to take over the day to day management of some of our sites.”
Following three months of formal consultation on the future management of the countryside estate in January 2016, four preferred options were submitted and agreed by the County Council’s cabinet in June.
The proposals recommend pursuing a mixture of two options for the sites. One suggests transferring management on a site-by-site basis to local community, or voluntary sector groups. The other proposes establishing partnerships of landowners from the public, private and charity sectors to manage all green spaces in an area.
To find out more about the tendering process contact Emma Beaman, Countryside Manager on 01785277240 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.