THE two-year saga to find a tenant for the caravan and camping site at Strathclyde Park is finally over.
North Lanarkshire Council has awarded a 60-year lease to The Caravan Club Limited despite a row over another bidder offering nearly four times as much.
The 18.28 acre site opened in 1976 and currently holds a Scottish Tourist Board two star Touring Park award and a three pennant AA rating. It is laid out to provide pitches for up to 100 caravans and 50 tents as well as being served by four toilet and shower blocks, a site office and a small shop.
As part of the development strategy for Strathclyde Park in 2009 the council started a tender process looking for a leaseholder.
The contract was subsequently awarded to Abbeyford Caravan Company (Scotland) Ltd but they withdrew their offer meaning a further tendering exercise was undertaken last summer.
The council received three tenders from The Caravan Club Ltd, Strathclyde Park Ltd/Stewart and McKenna Foundation and Stephen Mitchell.
Although the Strathclyde Park/Stewart and McKenna tender offered £195,000 over the next five years against The Caravan Club’s £50,000 it was decided that the quality of the latter bid was more important that the financial considerations.
However SNP deputy leader Sophia Coyle said: “I don’t see why we find ourselves in a situation where we are not accepting the highest offer.”
Councillors voted 36-16 in favour of The Caravan Club’s tender.
Deputy council leader Jim Smith added: “The Caravan Club has sites across Europe and that presents a unique opportunity to market the site.”
The Caravan Club were pleased be awarded the tender and intend starting work to improve the site in November.
Full story in May 12 edition of Times & Speaker