The Conservative council, under severe financial pressure from the Conservative government, is trying to offload Lydiard Park.

There are plans to transfer it to a trust, which could secure its future for the people of Swindon, but the proposed trust is unwilling to accept the transfer without provision for the works costing over a million pounds that they found were necessary to put Lydiard it in good repair.

But another problem has now come to light. The council allowed the subcontractors they employed to run the conference centre to lay off their staff before any alternative arrangements were put in place, so that now there is a much reduced income stream going forward and ongoing business may be lost.

Until these issues are resolved there is still a worry that the Conservative council might offload Lydiard to the highest bidder, which could mean unwelcome developments at one of Swindon’s iconic landmarks.