A SNACK bar operator who was set to lose his livelihood at a Poole park has been told he can stay after all.

Nigel Milham was told he had lost the contract to continue running his kiosk at Baiter after 17 years.

But BCP Council has revealed that the winning bidder pulled out and said Mr Milham can stay until next year while the contract is offered out again.

As the Daily Echo reported last month, Mr Milham had accused the council of “destroying” a family business which had paid £180,000 in rent over the years.

He said the council had demanded full rent when he was barred from trading during the Covid lockdowns.

It had then gone ahead with plans to put the contract out to tender just as he was trading again.

Mr Milham had been given until the end of last week to quit the site.

However, a council spokesperson said in a statement: “Following a procurement process to award a new contract for the catering service at Baiter Park, the winning bidder has withdrawn from the contract awarded to them by the council.

“In order to provide an uninterrupted catering service during the busy summer months, the retender of this opportunity will be delayed and readvertised towards the end of the year, with the intention of awarding a new contract for up to three years from March 1, 2022.

“The current licence holder will continue to trade and has agreed with the council, an extension to his licence until February 28, 2022.”

Mr Milham had received a flood of support from customers after being told he would have to leave the Poole beauty spot.

One told how Mr Milham would do odd jobs for his customers and had even attended funerals.

The council statement said: “The council will restart the tender process in the autumn, when it will be advertised to the market to allow interested catering providers to compete for the opportunity in an open and transparent way.

“Through a fair selection process, the council can ensure that the best offer made to them at that time is provided for park visitors.

“The winning bidder will be made aware of the tender outcome at the beginning of 2022, allowing time for mobilisation.”

Mr Milham said: “I’d like to thank not only my valued customers for their unwavering support over the last month but also Judy Butt, Vikki Slade and Mohan Iyengar from BCP Council.”