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Commissioning and procurement

Current opportunities

We advertise opportunities over £25,000.

Oare Gunpowder Works Country Park Visitor Centre Management -Expressions of Interest for Visitor Centre and Catering Concession

Reference A1069.

Expressions of Interest for Visitor Centre and Catering Concession

We're seeking expressions of interest (EOI) from organisations or parties to operate, occupy, manage, and maintain the visitor centre and potential catering concession at Oare Gunpowder Works Country Park, off Bysing Wood Road, Faversham, Kent, ME13 7UD.

The whole site measures 7.2 hectares in total and currently consists of the Visitor Centre,  toilets, car parking, woodland and open space interspersed with historic remains of the former gunpowder works, leats (small water canals), lake and picnic areas.

The site is a scheduled ancient monument, part Site of Special Scientific Interest and well known for both its heritage and biodiversity value. It has consistently been awarded both Green Flag and Green Heritage award status and there are several external groups involved in providing volunteer maintenance and visitor activities. We have been welcoming visitors for nearly 20 years following creation of the park with a lottery grant and continue to maintain the site and facilities guided by our management plan.

We believe the site has the potential to be a bigger tourist and local resident destination with an all year round offering.

We're seeking an experienced operator who can add value to the sites offer to visitors and manage the visitor welcome and experience by operating the visitor centre and unlocking and locking the site at weekends and bank holidays, under an appropriate agreement commencing from 1 April 2024.

The Visitor Centre currently consists of:-

  • Heritage Displays
  • Environmental
  • Displays
  • Toilets
  • Small Kitchen

The visitor centre is a single storey former cooperage adjacent to the car park and provides a good opportunity for a more commercially focused provider to deliver visitor welcome, interpretation and deliver a food & beverage provision for the country park. The internal part of the building currently mainly houses heritage and environmental displays, with education/volunteer meeting space.

Bidders are advised to inspect the building and carefully consider the cost of reconfiguring the interior, providing catering equipment and any necessary works before submitting their EOI especially in light of the sites Scheduled status. It is anticipated that Planning Permission and Scheduled Ancient monument Consent will be required for significant changes.

In addition to the key building, the Council is keen for the site to attract more visitors to the area, all year round, but in particular during the summer season. Innovative ideas are therefore sought on what additional offering could be created on the site.

As the site has multiple users, it is important your EOI shows how you will balance and work alongside these, attract new and return visitors. Groups include the Friends of Oare Gunpowder Works, volunteers, KCC Childrens Centre and a Home Education Group.

It is expected that the successful applicant will open the building to the public all year round and during that time will also open the adjacent, access, car park and public toilets.

It is anticipated that the Council will continue to provide basic grounds maintenance services to the whole site, while building maintenance of the visitor centre will be the responsibility of the tenant, potentially full repairing, depending upon the length and nature of the agreement.

Please submit your EOI by 12 Noon 24th December 2023 to

Please include the following information:

  • Type of legal agreement preferred e.g., lease/licence/concession agreement and the length proposed.
  • Annual rent being offered to SBC and/or and other commercial offering e.g., profit share etc plus any considerations around phased payment against capital investment.
  • Basic Business Plan that demonstrates that the proposal is viable and sustainable for the duration of the legal agreement.

Your Business Plan should include the following:

  • Proposed use of the building
  • The type of any food & beverage to be offered
  • Proposed opening dates and times (noting existing site opening & closing)
  • Marketing proposals
  • Financial projections demonstrating a strong viability, showing profit & loss forecasts and any surplus in addition to a cash-flow for at least 2 years
  • Details of how any repairs and improvements will be funded (e.g., grant funding, personal savings, temporary rent concession, etc)
  • Evidence of previous experience/operations of a similar nature
  • Supporting Documents
  • A site location plan
  • A Visitor Centre layout plan
  • The current site visitor leaflet

Should no viable business plan be submitted, the Council will consider alternative uses for the building.

Please email for further information or to arrange to view the premises.

It is proposed that the building will be made available to view internally from 4 December, 2023 by appointment.

Property agent

Reference A1038.

Sole property agent to support the marketing and letting of space at Swale House, Sittingbourne, Kent.

Marketing Proposals for parts of Swale House, Sittingbourne, Kent, ME10 3HT.

We're looking to appoint sole agents to market the available space on the first and ground floors of Swale House.

Operational changes mean that the council has a reduced space requirement in it main office building, with the first floor now fully vacated. Any occupation of the ground floor will likely be on a shared basis as it still provides essential client-facing/operational uses for the Council but it nonetheless provides opportunity for similar organisations to lease space.

The net internal floor area (NIA) of the (total) ground and first floor of Swale House is approximately 28,536 square foot (2,657 square metres) representing around 40% of the total floor plate of the building.

We are seeking agents to market the property in the regular print and online media; to undertake inspections, negotiate and agree heads of terms and to manage transactions to completion through communication with potential twangs and legal representatives.

In addition to setting out their fee structure, we are asking interested parties to set out their relevant experience; how they would draw up their brief and then subsequently market the space available.

Submissions should be marked as Swale House Marketing Proposal and uploaded to the portal no later than 5pm on Thursday 16 November, 2023.

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