Four Merseyside golf clubs have their futures secured

Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir November 13, 2019 12:40

Plans to privatise two golf clubs in Merseyside have been dropped by Wirral Council, which has said it will instead invest in both the venues and another two courses.

Arrowe Park Golf Club and Warren Golf Club were set to be sold-off until a scrutiny committee persuaded the council to think again, reports Liverpool Echo.

The privatisation plan sparked fears over the future of Wirral’s other municipal golf courses, Brackenwood Golf Club (Bebington) and Hoylake Municipal, however the council has now decided to keep all four courses in public hands.

The council will also lift its freeze on new maintenance equipment, establish a consultative group with golfers and introduce a capital investment programme for all four courses to be phased in over the next eight years.

Councillor Tom Anderson, said: “It was clear that all four courses have great potential to attract additional players, at reasonable cost, meaning the sport continues to be available to the many, not the few.

“I look forward to working with the clubs to make sure the additional investment we have requested is well-spent and that the future of the four courses is protected for years to come.”

Councillor Janette Williamson added: “While it remained clear that changes had to be made to how municipal courses in Wirral were managed, it was also clear that there were further options that could be explored that meant we could keep them in-house and give greater security to all those involved, particularly staff.

“What we are now looking to do is invest in these courses and make significant improvements to how they are managed; looking at opportunities to maximise the income the council can achieve, not just directly through golf but also from the secondary opportunities that exist.

“We will commission a ground survey at each course to find out exactly what needs to be done over the coming years to bring them up to standard. Related to that, we will make sure there is provision in our capital spending programme to invest in improvements to courses and equipment.

“We will also establish a dedicated service area for golf, bringing in the expertise which at present sits across a number of different council departments. They will work together across all sites to ensure consistency and efficiency and ultimately create and deliver a new vision for municipal golf in Wirral.

“This will be supported by the establishment of a new consultative user group, who will ensure the voice of those who use the facilities is heard when it comes to decision-making.”

 

Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir November 13, 2019 12:40
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2 Comments

  1. Peter November 7, 14:12

    It’s admirable for a community to hold onto four courses for its’ citizens’ benefits. Question is, is it wise ? Each community has to look at it’s demographics, urban planning and recreational opportunities and needs, Great community planning and the advent of urban sprawl requires more recreational outlets and locations for social capital and engagement ! Holding onto and maintaining four courses requires diverse and strong population growth, strong annual operating budgets and a sound strategic plan ! In the right communities, having four courses can be a great benefit that adds value, social activity and prestige. For the wrong communities it can be a serious blow to budgets, damage home values and ultimately become a blighted mess !

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  2. Robert November 8, 12:51

    Fantastic news. About time these courses got the treatment they deserve.

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