Judas Priest member’s golf course enters administration

Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir October 11, 2017 12:07

A golf course built and owned by the former Judas Priest guitarist, KK Downing, has entered administration.

Astbury Hall in Shropshire, which includes a Georgian designed stately home where Downing reportedly lives, has been put up for sale with an asking price of more than £10 million.

Joint administrator FRP Advisory said the move was due to “tougher economic times within the wider corporate hospitality market”, which put pressure on the company’s cash flow.

KK Downing said: “We have had a fantastic season, things were going really well. We had plans for a hotel that we were doing really well with. Obviously there was a necessity for a funding element.

“The company took out a short term mezzanine fund. This was essentially to bring in professional architects and a team from London. Everything was in place as far as we were concerned.

KK Downing

“Unfortunately about six weeks into the loan we were served a short-term notice about breaches.

“We are at the moment looking to re-finance that loan. We were taken aback that the funder was not more flexible with us as partners.

“Obviously the Astbury is an extremely valuable asset and we have to be cautious and careful. We are on the case.

“This isn’t anything to do with owing money. We are still open for business and are operating.”

Alastair Massey, partner at FRP Advisory, said: “Astbury Hall is a finely preserved, working English stately home steeped in history and the Astbury is a top notch, uniquely designed golf course, stretching across more than 300 acres of rolling Shropshire countryside.

“The administration process provides a cushion for the estate to run as normal while the business, including this historic house, the associated golf course and events business are all marketed for sale. We encourage interested parties to make early contact.

“The estate will continue to run as normal through the administration process and the number of bookings which the Astbury continues to make is a testament to the popularity of the hall, the golf course, its grounds and the catering on offer, all supported by its professional team of staff.”

Downing has sold in excess of 40 million records worldwide as a founding member of British heavy metal band Judas Priest. Hits included ‘Hell Bent for Leather’, ‘Breaking the Law’ and ‘Painkiller’.

In a The Golf Business interview with the team at Astbury Hall in 2011, we were told that Def Leppard challenged the band to a golf match in the 1980s, and from there on Downing was hooked. He bought Astbury Hall in 1985 and work began on building the golf course in 2004, which opened to the public in 2010.

Downing retired from Judas Priest the following year.

 

Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir October 11, 2017 12:07
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1 Comment

  1. nathan October 12, 14:13

    Haven’t I just read that Peter Jones is looking to invest in a golf project??? Astbury really is a lovely location with huge potential!!

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