Golf courses transfer set to tee off

Final preparations are being made to transfer two municipal golf courses in Liverpool – and save council taxpayers £2 million over the next five years.

In January, the Mayor’s Cabinet approved a 25 year arrangement with Formby Hall Golf and Spa Limited to operate the links at North Liverpool, and with Glendale Golf Limited at Allerton.

Between now and 2019, it will wipe out a projected overspend and subsidy of almost £1.7 million and generate a total rental income of £375,000.

The council has insisted that the incoming commercial partners must continue to provide affordable and accessible ‘pay and play’ golf.

They will also be encouraged to invest in the courses through upgrades and appropriate additional facilities to attract customers.

Assistant Mayor and Cabinet member for culture and tourism, Councillor Wendy Simon, said: “Since the deal was approved, we have been in discussions with the incoming operators to finalise the details of the transfer to make sure it is as seamless as possible for golfers.

“We can no longer afford to subsidise the courses to the tune of almost £5 per round, but we know how much they are appreciated by the people who use them. That is why we have worked extremely hard to put together a deal that satisfies everyone.

“This proposal will make sure that they receive investment to make them sustainable in the long term while continuing to operate at a price that is affordable to users.”

Subject to the conclusion of the negotiations, it is expected that the new operators will take over the courses at the start of May 2014 which is one month later than originally planned due to the completion of the negotiations.