Your Councillors

Agenda item

Cobtree Manor Estate Update Report

Minutes:

The Committee considered the report of the Head of Regeneration and Economic Development providing an update on the operation of the Estate during the period August 2016 to January 2017.

 

In response to questions by Members, the Officers explained that:

 

·  Improved security measures had been introduced following the break in and an insurance claim had been made to recover losses.

 

·  Gert and Daisy - the Story of Maidstone Zoo, a two hour guided walk and talk with a local historian had been oversubscribed.  Going forward, consideration was being given to capturing the stories about the Zoo on CD-ROM and to the introduction of a loyalty card.

 

·  Options and costings for the improvement of the surface of the car park at the Cobtree Manor Park and the extension of the car park would be included in a report on schemes requiring capital investment over the next five years to be submitted to the next meeting of the Committee.  The report would take into account concerns expressed about capacity issues at Cobtree Manor Park.

 

·  The 14% increase in rounds played at the Golf Course in the third quarter of the year compared to the same period in 2015 reflected the efforts of Mytime to develop the business.

 

·  The contract for the operation of the Golf Course had been awarded to Mytime, the current contractor.  The contract would commence in April 2017, and to allow for this, a six month contract extension had been negotiated with Mytime at a cost of £50,000 as this was a period of reduced activity at the Golf Course.

 

·  A web designer been engaged at minimal cost to design and build a website to promote Cobtree Manor Park.  The website was due to go live by the end of the month.

 

·  It had not been possible to secure funding from elsewhere for a Toucan Crossing over Forstal Road to connect the River Medway Cycle Path Scheme with Cobtree Manor Park.  If funding was made available, and the Scheme went ahead, cycle racks would be provided and maintained as part of the Scheme.

 

·  It was anticipated that cash flows would improve once the new Golf Course contract was in operation.

 

The Committee agreed in principle to make funding of £30,000 available for the Toucan Crossing subject to assurances that the Cycle Path Scheme will go ahead and that the bus stop will be relocated close to the entrance to the Manor Park.

 

At the invitation of the Chairman, Mr Mike Sharp of the Cobtree Charity Trust Limited updated the Committee on the Trust’s aspirations for a railway at the Cobtree Manor Estate.  It was noted that discussions would need to take place with Kent Highways regarding construction, the Cobtree Charity Trust Limited regarding related funding arrangements and the operator of the Kent Life attraction before written proposals were put forward.

 

RESOLVED:

 

1.  That the report be noted.

 

2.  That agreement be given in principle to funding of £30,000 being made available for a Toucan Crossing over Forstal Road to enable the River Medway Cycle Path Scheme to link up with Cobtree Manor Park subject to assurances that the Cycle Path Scheme will go ahead and that the bus stop will be relocated close to the entrance to the Manor Park.

 

3.  That options and costings for the improvement of the surface of the car park at the Cobtree Manor Park and the extension of the car park should be included in the report on schemes requiring capital investment over the next five years to be submitted to the next meeting of the Committee; this report should take into account concerns expressed about capacity issues at Cobtree Manor Park.

 

4.  That the Officers be requested to submit a report to a future meeting of the Committee addressing capacity issues at Cobtree Manor Park.

 

Supporting documents: