Tenders for Dalby Forest cafe and bikes re-awarded

TWO firms who bid for business in Dalby Forest have been re-awarded contracts following a row which saw the secretary of state for rural affairs involved and the tender process scrapped.

Pace Cycles will now take on the running of the bike hire facility in the Forest and Eurest, which is part of the multi-national Compass group, will manage the cafe.

Both firms had earlier this year been awarded the contracts but the tender process had been called into question by the owners and supporters of Purple Mountain, who at the time managed both facilities.

They argued the process was unfair and that the Forestry Commission wasn’t being supportive of small, local, independent businesses.

Vicky Griffin, director or Purple Mountain, scrambled a meeting with Caroline Spelman, Secretary of State for the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and a protest rally was held at Dalby Forest in a show of opposition to the changes.

It led to the Forestry Commission backtracking and inviting companies to bid again but the contracts have been awarded as they were before.

The Forestry Commission said the re-run had been completed by a board of Forestry Commission staff from outside of the Yorkshire district.

A spokesperson added: “We are sorry for the lack of service recently and will now work hard to restore the cycle hire at Dalby Forest as quickly as we can.

“We look forward to working with Pace/CTC and building on the great reputation the forest has as a world-class cycling venue.”