Great Denham café tender extended after admin error

Great Denham Cafe Tender

The invitation for someone to take over the running of Great Denham Café has been extended after an admin error in the tender advertisement was found on the website.

It was spotted after the Bedford Independent asked Bedford Borough Council why SMEs and VCSEs weren’t allowed to apply to run the café in the new Great Denham Country Park.

A spokesperson for the council explained that due to an administrative error the businesses that could apply were not showing correctly.

The confirmed that the contract is definitely open to both SMEs (Small and Medium Enterprises) and VCSEs (Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprises).

The website has now been rectified and the tender period has been extended by one week until 13 June.

The spokesperson added: “The café at Great Denham Country Park is a great opportunity to bring a fantastic facility to this new Country Park.

“The tender was published on 13 May and it has been extended to close on 13 June, with the contract set to start on 15 July so that the new operator can be in place for the summer holidays, which are often the busiest period for these kinds of businesses.

“An open day was held on site with a good level of attendance and interest, including from SMEs and other local businesses.”

If you are interested in running the café, then tender documents can be found by visiting the Gov.UK/contracts finder website.

Great Denham Country Park is a recent addition to Bedford Borough’s green spaces. It’s just off the A428 and runs beside the River Great Ouse.

The area is predominantly a riverside habitat, with natural grassland, tree and shrubs, and wetland.

The area is designed to be a family space with a children’s playground, football pitches, multi-use games area, and surfaced cycle and jogging routes.

The popular Great Denham parkrun also makes the most of the area.

The Archer’s Rest café, which the tender is for, will be situated in the new Great Denham Sports Pavilion which overlooks the country park and has a playground and sports facilities.

The café itself has an indoor and outdoor seating area with views across the country park, alongside a fully fitted kitchen and store area.

Launching the tender, Mayor Dave Hodgson said “We are very lucky to have beautiful and award-winning parks in Bedford Borough.

It’s been great to see the success of a number of new cafés in our parks over recent years and this café at Great Denham will be a great addition to this new Country Park.

I’d encourage anyone interested to check out the tender.”

Tender documents can be found by visiting the Gov.UK/contracts finder website. The closing date for submissions is 12 noon on Thursday, 13 June.

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