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Cardiff Council Statement: Secret Garden Café


Cabinet Member for Culture, Parks, and Events, Cllr Jennifer Burke said: "Bute Park is incredibly important to the people of Cardiff and the interest in the future of the café over recent days is testament to that.

"The Secret Garden Café has been part of the Bute Park community for five years and there's no doubting the contribution it has made to the park in that time, however, the original tenancy has expired and come to an end, and a new form of management agreement and associated lease are now required.

"While we appreciate the uncertainty it causes the existing operator, under the Council's procurement rules, as governed by the constitution, a direct award cannot be made in these circumstances.

"A robust procurement process, designed to ensure best value for public money, and in line with standard council procurement processes, is expected to begin on June 5th, and I would encourage the current café operator to make a bid so that it can be considered alongside any other bids received from other potential operators.

"To be clear, the current operator is not being evicted but a formal Notice to Quit has been issued, as that is a legal requirement.

"Pending the conclusion of the procurement exercise, the Council has agreed an interim arrangement so the current operator can remain in place throughout the transition to the new arrangements, and an offer to extend this arrangement for an additional month, all the way through the busy summer season until September, has now also been made. If the current operator puts in a successful bid they would continue under the new arrangements, after that point.

"The procurement process for the new management agreement and associated lease is expected to commence on 5th June and the tender will be openly advertised to the market through Sell 2 Wales and the procurement portal, Proactis. 

"We'll continue to talk with the current operator throughout this transition period and look forward to evaluating all bids received to manage the site, continue to offer access to toilets in the park, maintain the site's facilities and offering, for the enjoyment of visitors to Bute Park."