New Forest District Council is looking to make a strategic decision on the future of its highly successful Dibden Golf Centre – should it continue to run the venue ‘in-house’ or deliver it in partnership with a specialist golf operator?
The centre, which started out as an 18 hole course in 1974 but with a further nine holes and an 18 bay floodlit driving range added in 1991, is located close to the M27 and M3 motorways; and has stunning views of Southampton Water and the world’s finest ocean going liners as they go in and out of port. It is also on the edge of the New Forest National Park which boasts 13 million visits per annum and there are over 500,000 people living within a 30 minute drive time including the urban area of Southampton.
Dibden Golf Centre has traded very well for many years and given its quality has consistently achieved high annual roundage numbers coupled with healthy green fee / season ticket rates resulting in a substantial annual turnover and operating surpluses. However, given the tightening financial budgets for all councils in the UK as a result of the coalition government’s commitment to cut the UK’s debt, New Forest District Council needs to consider its management options – as running a golf course has a naturally lower priority compared to many other essential services that the Council must provide.
The Council has appointed UK golf property specialist Smith Leisure to handle the process. Mark Smith comments “Whilst many local authorities are currently considering outsourcing the management of their municipal golf courses, Dibden Golf Centre is undoubtedly one of the very best. With its 27 holes of golf and floodlit range (the Dibden Golf Academy) plus the Water’s Edge café bar and restaurant which caters for outside functions – as well as the simply extraordinary view over Southampton Water it is not surprising that this business trades well. We are looking to be in a position to advise the Council on whether it should outsource the management of the operation by the end of March.”
If parties are interested in managing Dibden Golf Centre then please contact Mark Smith in the near future on 01985 214147 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dibden Golf Centre http://www.newforest.gov.uk/index.cfm?articleid=8140