Cheshire East Borough Council is seeking interest from the golf market to operate its two courses: Malkins Bank – a popular Hawtree designed 18 hole course only 2 miles from junction 17 of the M6; and Queens Park – a 9 hole course on the west side of Crewe town centre.
The Council was newly formed in 2009 as a unitary authority following the merger of three boroughs and half of the County Council. The timing is now right for the Council to undertake a strategic review on the best long-term way of running these courses and has appointed UK golf property specialist, Smith Leisure, to advise in the process.
The Council currently runs Malkins Bank in-house and roundage was just over 39,000 last year. The Council is keen to look at ways of further improving the venue and possible options include a driving range or a short academy course. Queens Park Golf Course is adjacent to Crewe’s only formal park and the latter is currently undergoing a £6.5 million transformation, including Heritage Lottery funding, to bring it back to its former glory. Queens Park Golf Course is operated by the leading golf retailer, American Golf, who has a retail store on site.
Mark Smith of Smith Leisure, who is handling the process along with his GCA colleague, John Ashworth, comments: “The Council’s options include leasing or selling one or both venues and we feel that they will appeal to private sector golf operators, leisure trust operators or perhaps a local individual/consortium. Whilst Queens Park is actually held on a lease already, American Golf is willing to relinquish its interest as running a course is no longer core business for them – they wish to focus on larger retail outlets.”
“We are seeking initial written feedback from the market by Monday 17th May and the result of this will play an important part in how the Council proceeds thereafter. If it does decide to formally tender the properties then the intention is to start this process in the autumn and have the new operator(s) in place early next year.”
Anyone interested in these courses and who would like a brochure should contact Mark Smith on 01985 214147 or firstname.lastname@example.org .