March 10 2014 Latest news:
Monday, January 13, 2014
Operators asked to place their bids to run new land train service in Ilfracombe this summer.
THE deadline for anyone wishing to run Ilfracombe’s new land train is now just over three weeks away.
North Devon Council is asking for interested parties to apply using the procurement website www.supplyingthesouthwest.org.uk by Friday, February 7.
The Dotto train arrived in Ilfracombe in November fresh from the factory in Italy. It has two carriages, seating for up to 40 adults and is equipped with rain covers, allowing it to operate in all conditions.
The council said applicants should ideally have experience of running similar operations and sufficient resources to be able to run a successful service.
The chosen operator will be awarded a 12 month contract, with the opportunity to renew for a further year.
“This is an exciting opportunity for a local business or individual to provide what we hope will be a profitable and successful tourist attraction in the town,” said executive member for development in Ilfracombe, Councillor Mike Edmunds.
“We want someone with a sound business plan, who is going to be passionate about making this venture work.”
Ilfracombe Mayor, Lynda Courtnadge, added: “It will be a welcome addition as a tourist attraction and will help to link the High Street, seafront and harbour areas, adding to the visitor experience and enhancing footfall in the High Street.”
North Devon Council will provide the train and storage. It said the operator will be expected to provide a reliable and consistent service for a reasonable part of the year, but for a minimum of July and August.
The operator will be responsible for maintenance, repair, operating and ticketing costs and insurance. As well as income from ticket sales, there is also an opportunity to make further revenue from advertising boards and a sound system within the train.
The train is the result of a successful £163,000 funding bid to the EU Leader 4 programme.