More than £100,000 is being invested in plans to turn a Welsh Valleys golf club into ‘a centre of excellence’
Morlais Castle Golf Club in Merthyr Tydfil is to receive the money from the EU-funded South East Wales Community Economic Development (SEWCED) programme towards the development of a golf academy and potential driving range at its mountainside course.
An award of £63,000 will help create a three-hole course to host the academy for junior and beginner players, provide new course equipment and vehicles and fund refurbishment of the club’s function room.
A further £41,000 is being used towards running costs, a feasibility study to look into constructing the driving range and an initial investment in the creation of the permanent position of business development manager.
“Merthyr Tydfil is a deprived area and historically, golf has been a bit of an elitist sport – so we’re desperately trying to get away from that,” said Business Development Manager Ruth Leonard. “Our aim is to open it up to the wider community and ultimately make the golf club a centre of excellence.”
Supported by the European Regional Development Fund through the Welsh Government and run by a six-Valleys local authorities’ consortium of Merthyr Tydfil, Bridgend, Blaenau Gwent, Caerphilly, Rhondda Cynon Taf and Torfaen, SEWCED has invested £6.4m in 110 social enterprises since it began in 2010, helping to create 18 social enterprises and 100 full-time jobs.
Morlais Castle is a challenging moorland course in the foothills of the Brecon Beacons National Park and has a modern clubhouse and indoor practice area. Built in 1270, the remains of Morlais Castle run along the right hand side of the third fairway.
The clubhouse also has a function room and 200-seater conference facility with access to wireless internet, overhead projection and whiteboard equipment. We have been delivering childcare for the last nine years and with its quality provision, excellent team and continuous drive to provide only the best care possible Trinity continues develop a range of additional services that support the whole family.
The Centre has the MTCBC Quality Award, Healthy Snack Award, Investors in People and many more – but most importantly we have feed back of the parents and children – available at the Centre.
Please feel free to call and arrange a visit – you are more than welcome – we look forward to seeing you. Please feel free to call and arrange a visit – you are more than welcome – we look forward to seeing you. The SEWCED award is allowing the club to redevelop disused land to create the new golf academy, on a short course that will be less demanding and safer for young players.
“What we’re aiming for is for families to attend and while parents play a round of golf, their children can practise under the supervision of our professional Sion Bebb,” Ruth Leonard added.
“This award is very exciting for us and will help kick-start our project to make golf more accessible for the adults and young people of Merthyr Tydfil and surrounding areas.”
One Morlais Castle player not needing any help from a centre of excellence at the moment is 20-year-old Jack Bush, current Welsh Amateur Champion, who honed his talents at the club. Jack is the grandson of Alan, a Morlais Castle trustee and longstanding member.
Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council Cabinet Member for Chief Executive Services, Councillor Phil Williams, said: “Morlais Castle Golf Club is one of Merthyr Tydfil’s premier sporting venues and helps showcase the beauty of our countryside.
“It’s great news that this SEWCED funding will help make golf more easily available and attractive to everyone. It will also support the creation of a job that will become sustainable during its first year in existence by helping generate income for the club.”
Morlais Castle Golf Club, go to morlaisgolf.com or contact Ruth Leonard on 01685 722822, email: firstname.lastname@example.org