County council set to save £50,000 in costs after park sale

Visitor centre at Brandon Country Park.
Visitor centre at Brandon Country Park.

Suffolk County Council has agreed in principle to sell Brandon Country Park to a third party in a bid to cut costs.

The move is said to save the council £50,000 per year and is the only country park still managed by the authority.

The 18 park and cafe staff have been made aware of the decision and will be transferred over to the new organisation.

The council have yet to decide who will take on the park, but with the decision now agreed in principle, it gives the council the opportunity to negotiate and agree a sale price.

The council agreed the move at its cabinet meeting last Tuesday.

A report to the cabinet said: “The council has tried to divest Brandon Country park in the past, as part of the divestment of other country parks and recreation sites, without success.

“At that time the divestment proposal was simply for a management agreement with the council retaining the freehold ownership.

“This current divestment proposal would be for freehold transfer, and we are working with partners to consider future management arrangements including with other councils.”

The report added that the council has been unable to reduce the cost of running the park as it is the authorities the only remaining country park which prevents it from sharing costs across a number of sites.

It is anticipated that a freehold transfer would take place in the first six months of next year.

The cabinet have set a number of conditions for the freehold transfer including continuing to use the site as a country park in the long term and using the newly restored Engine House on the site as a community/volunteer facility.

The 32 acre park attracts more than 180,000 visitors a year.