Golf club awarded more than £100k in five years

Emma Williams
By Emma Williams March 22, 2016 17:41

A community conscious golf club in Durham has been awarded more than £100,000 in the last five years from a mixture of the National Lottery and its local authority.

South Moor passed the six figure total earlier this year when it was awarded £4,926 of National Lottery money from Sport England’s Flood Relief Fund.

Dan Welsh and Abbi Wheatley 2015

More than half the total assistance has been funded by Sport England with the remainder provided by Stanley Area Action Partnership and Stanley Town Council.

A vast overhaul of the 93-year-old former ‘miners-only’ coal board club, designed by Augusta architect Dr Alister MacKenzie, began in 2011.

Stanley Area Action Partnership awarded the golf club a £23,000 grant to stage the England Boys under-16 Open and £2,000 for car park improvements.

“Our facilities have improved beyond all recognition over the last five years,” said former captain Guy Carr.

“These are fantastic times in terms of our rapid development and they are the reward for vast amounts of hard work by many people at the club and at the public bodies who have funded us.

“We are getting near to completing a par three course and there is an Astroturf short game practice area covering 1,668 square metres which is the biggest of its kind in Europe and includes a practice bunker.

Guy Carr

Guy Carr

“We have totally refurbished top class changing rooms, showers and lockers and an extra putting green – part of the Astroturf area – and a new practice driving area.

“We have made the most of every last penny in what is a total of £104,196 of public money we have received.

“Our MP, Kevan Jones, helped us secure funding and assisted us in other ways.”

Funding allowed South Moor to be chosen to host the inaugural North of England under-14 Open in 2014, and the club has since been announced as the permanent home of the tournament.

The latest grant, from the Flood Relief Fund, came after South Moor’s course was hit by Storm Desmond in December.

Said Carr: “Paths were washed out, making buggy access impossible, and in places they were dangerous and impassable.

“Elderly and physically impaired golfers were prevented from using the course.

“As a result of the Sport England grant we have been able to plan a refurbishment and a repair programme for the paths ready for the start of our 2016 season.

“We have also made plans to replace a 60 metre underground pipe at the end of the summer.”

MP Jones said: “I was very pleased to hear about this latest funding which provides another welcome boost for the golf club and local community.

“The club has gone from strength to strength over the last few years, successfully hosting big tournaments, whilst also remaining an important local facility.

“I look forward to seeing the next stages in the development of the club.”

Jennie Price, chief executive of Sport England, said: “We appreciate sport isn’t a major priority when people’s lives, homes and businesses are at risk from flooding.

“But once communities are starting to get their lives back to normal, being able to use their local pitch or sports club as usual can make a real difference.

“By launching this fund quickly to help with clean-up and repair costs I hope we can give people affected by the floods one less thing to worry about.

“We are delighted to be able to get this emergency funding to South Moor.”

Last year South Moor’s membership rose from 350 to 438 and the club has introduced a new ‘Lifestyle Membership’ costing £170 and giving a 70 percent discount off all green fees.

 

Emma Williams
By Emma Williams March 22, 2016 17:41
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