Manor House and library: council to re-open bidding process

DSCF1436At a meeting this week, local representatives were told that Greenwich Leisure Ltd’s bid to run the Manor House and library was unacceptable. Lewisham Council will now re-start the tender process
GLL had been keen to work with the community, but its main income stream was to have a nursery on the lower ground floor, taking over the non-fiction library space.  However, Ofsted requires nurseries to have an outside play space that must not be overlooked by the public; fencing the garden would be unlikely to receive approval from Historic England.
Aileen Buckton, Executive Director of Community Services, made the point that the GLL bid had not been rejected outright and could be reappraised if other developments occurred. 
What happens next? 
The council will re-contact the market.  Other organisations had been put off by the costs of maintaining a Grade ll* listed building but the council has said it will retain responsibility for the building and will support maintenance.  Of course, this may not be an open-ended commitment.
Lack of parking. competition from Pistachio’s and the residential surroundings were seen as impediments to developing the Manor House as a restaurant, cafe or events venue.
You can attend the following meetings which will discuss the future of the library:
4th July 2016 – Safer Stronger Communities Select Committee
13th July 2016 – Mayor and Cabinet meet for ratification

If GLL withdraws completely and no other bidder comes forward,  the library will probably stay open but for fewer hours.

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