PRIOR INFORMATION NOTICE – Commercial Opportunity at the Secret Garden Café, Bute Park

First published 12th Jul, 2023
  • The full tender document will be published in the coming weeks.
  • In the meantime, you can register your interest here: (WA Ref:131238)
  • Prior Information Notice details are provided in the meantime

What is the opportunity?

Following expiry of the previous lease, Cardiff Council wish to offer to market a new type of management agreement for the Secret Garden Café, Bute Park. Cardiff Council will be inviting bids from prospective operators over the summer.


Bute Park is a grade 1 listed heritage park and nationally significant arboretum situated close to the city-centre of Cardiff. It is a visitor attraction within the city and benefits from over 2.6m visits per annum. The visitor profile includes regular locals, university students, as well as tourists. The park further benefits from a popular year-round event programme and regular plant sales from the adjacent Bute Park nursery plant shop.

The aim is to secure an operator that will provide the best overall service for park visitors.

Potential benefits to park visitors as well as to users of the adjacent Bute Park Visitor Centre will be considered. The Council’s own corporate objectives will also be considered.

Key heads of terms

The legal agreement would comprise a management agreement with an associated lease.

  • 5-year term with potential to extend
  • Competitive minimum guide rent
  • Free water, gas and electricity (metered services, up to £15k pa fair use cap)
  • Park café with external trading and seating space
  • Opportunity to provide catering to Visitor Centre users
  • Minimum 7-day, year-round trading time requirements
  • No business rates payable
  • No charge for Council Legal/contract fees
  • Customer/public toilet management and cleaning responsibilities

How to apply

The full particulars of the agreement will be published online. Once live, this will be advertised further on site, online and through notification to industry contacts. There will also be an opportunity to attend an open evening to view the premises and speak informally with the management team.

To make an informal expression of interest please register on the “Sell2Wales” procurement portal confirming your desire to attend the open evening and provide the information requested in the “Questions” tab. Further details of the date will then be provided.

If you need support or have any questions regarding registering your interest then please contact