Pros advice

Liverpool council to save £2m by teeing off transfer of two golf courses

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

Back 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, as well as with Glendale Golf Limited at Allerton.

Starting from now – ongoing until 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 remained firm in their insistence that the incoming commercial partners must continue to provide affordable and accessible ‘pay and play’ golf, which can only be a positive move for people wanting to play a few rounds in the current financial climate.

Furthermore they will also be encouraged to invest in the golf courses through upgrades and additional facilities designed to attract larger numbers of customers.

Assistant Mayor and Cabinet member for culture and tourism, Councillor Wendy Simon, said to the Liverpool Echo: “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 long 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 worked extremely hard to put together a deal that satisfies everyone.

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

Should negotiations continue to run smoothly, it is widely expected that the new operators will take over the golf courses at the beginning of May 2014, one month later than originally planned.