Merseyside golf club to undergo £20 million of improvements

Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir September 15, 2021 11:23

A north west England golf club is planning to embark on major changes including the construction of a modern driving range, football pitches and a new clubhouse in order to be one of the premier venues in the region.

Green Circle Leisure, which operates Allerton Manor (Liverpool), Sherdley Park (St Helens) and Kirkby Valley (Knowsley) golf clubs, has unveiled a £20 million visionary masterplan to transform Kirkby Valley Golf into one of the north west’s top golf and family leisure destinations, creating 200 jobs in the process.

The investment will be used to create a new nine-hole par three academy course and teaching hub, a state-of-the-art two-tier 40-bay driving range, a family-friendly 18-hole adventure golf attraction, six football pitches, five tennis courts and a flat green bowling green. A new purpose-built clubhouse, golf shop, restaurant and function space will also be built and the par-72 course will be remodelled.

The ambitious masterplan has been developed over two years and is now being submitted for planning approval to Knowsley Council.

Green Circle’s managing director, Craig Coley, said: “Ever since we took over the operation of Kirkby Valley from Liverpool City Council, we have been determined to realise the outstanding potential of the course and its location.

“Because the course was owned by Liverpool City Council, but located in Knowsley, we have had to work with both councils to craft a masterplan vision that is right for the area and delivers the best possible golf and wider family leisure facility for local people.

The plans were first revealed in 2019

“The key to the success and viability of our golf model is to provide both quality and variety. We’re providing golf opportunities to people of every age group and ability level alongside a welcoming and attractive family leisure and hospitality offer.

“We’re aware of the various major investment and regeneration plans proposed for Kirkby so our aim was to complement them by providing something that would be a major sporting, social and health and wellbeing asset for the whole community.”

Green Circle will be working with Knowsley Council and training providers Knowsley Works, Transforming Lives and Myerscough College to target and train local people for jobs in greenkeeping, hospitality, retail, marketing and events management.

Spokesman Andrew Craven added: “We are very mindful that this golf course is a valued and important green space in Knowsley. By securing the long term future of a sustainable golf and sporting asset, we are guaranteeing its green status for future generations.

“We have a landscape and ecology plan that will improve overall biodiversity and have been careful that any new building and lighting will preserve the site’s openness and visual character.”

A planning decision is likely to be early next year. Green Circle has confirmed that, if plans are approved, works will commence in summer 2022 to be delivered in phases over a three to four year period, to ensure completion in time for Kirkby Valley Golf Course’s centenary anniversary year 2027/28.

Meanwhile, Green Circle’s plans for the £15 million redevelopment of Allerton Manor, which were approved last September, are “no longer viable”, prompting the operator to more than double the size of the scheme’s four-star hotel.

Under the original proposals, the grade two-listed manor house was to be converted into a 31-bedroom boutique hotel.

The revised proposals, lodged with Liverpool City Council, seek permission for a 66-bedroom hotel.

Allerton Manor Golf Club. Image from Facebook

“The lengthy planning process and the Covid-19 pandemic have delayed the project,” said Craig Coley.

“In the meantime, construction and material costs have massively increased, meaning that the original 31 bed hotel scheme is no longer viable.”

Other elements of the scheme remain unchanged. Namely the reconfiguration of the golf course to create a par 72 championship grade course.

A new clubhouse and adventure golf facilities also feature within the proposals.

Subject to approval of the revised plans, ‌the project is due for completion ‌by 2025.

 

Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir September 15, 2021 11:23
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2 Comments

  1. Peter September 15, 17:16

    Great to hear !! “Right for the area” is the key here !! Knowledge is power and we need to know the type of club, that will thrive in our primary markets !! What services, offerings and amenities will work and attract !! Seems like they have the issues covered !! Great success !!

    Reply to this comment
  2. JS September 15, 17:00

    Very similar to what we are proposing at Broome Manor GC in Swindon! The future ….

    Reply to this comment
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