BIGGA: ‘Brexit will hit greenkeeping budgets’

Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir June 24, 2016 11:08

Two organisations heavily involved in the golf industry have said Britain’s decision to vote for ‘Brexit’ will have a negative impact on trade.

The British and International Golf Greenkeepers Association (BIGGA), which has around 5,700 greenkeepers and turf professionals as members, has said the decision for the UK to leave the European Union means there will be a ‘reduction in greenkeeping budgets’.

Meanwhile, professional services firm KPMG, which has been at the forefront of private members’ golf clubs’ battle with HMRC to reclaim VAT on green fees, has said Brexit will result in consumers ‘driving down discretionary spend on leisure’.

eu flag paul

Flickr / Paul

BIGGA chief executive officer Jim Croxton said: “The UK golf industry is still in a delicate position on the back of the last economic downturn. Following the result of the referendum, we are set to enter another uncertain period for the economy. The decision to leave the EU will have an impact on people’s pockets and within the golf industry this can manifest itself in a reduction in greenkeeping budgets. We will redouble our efforts to ensure we support our members throughout this period and work closely with the rest of the golf industry to keep the sport as buoyant as possible.”

Meanwhile, Will Hawkley, UK head of leisure at KPMG UK, said: “The decision to leave the EU is likely to cause the leisure and hospitality sector a great deal of uncertainty and concern. Not only are there vast numbers of EU nationals working in the hospitality sector, but EU supplier and commercial contracts will need to be reviewed, and there will also be concerns over foreign visitor numbers within the industry. All of these factors could have a material impact on operations and revenues.

“On an economic level, it’s fair to predict that the result will probably impact consumer confidence, driving down discretionary spend on leisure in the short to medium term while consumers evaluate the full impact of what the UK’s exit from the EU means for them and their wallets.”

In addition, Geoff Webb, CEO of the Institute of Groundmanship, said: “There will be change ahead – and there will be reviews of various kinds. We can expect to be affected by financial decisions, by government, its agencies and by the banks. There will be a long list of issues, including employment rights, EU funding in general, representational lobbying and our position and influence. We will remain ‘open for business’. The Institute of Groundmanship will look to support our members as much as it can.”


Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir June 24, 2016 11:08
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1 Comment

  1. Bob Braban July 1, 10:28

    These consequences were entirely evident even before the start of the campaign. The inevitable downturn in the economy will hit leisure expenditure the hardest as people have to choose those items they can most easily drop from their annual budget.

    The good news is the Brexit is unlikely to happen in the near future and probably not at all.

    Even the geriatric element demanding a return to the good old days of the 3-day week, 25% inflation, 12% unemployment and mortgage rates of 17% are starting to see that maybe those things were not so attractive after all. Add the that the lack of intellectual capacity to unravel the advances of the last forty years and the problem starts to disappear.

    Johnson has already jumped overboard in realisation that taking on a task that would be a serious challenge even to someone with twice his intelligence would be equivalent to suicide and has left the swivel eyed crook Gove to climb the scaffold in his place. The next General Election will see Brexit consigned to history and we can all get on with playing golf again.

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