Global Edition

Council seeks private sector operator

12.15am 16th May 2005 - Property

Duxbury Park golf course, designed by Martin Hawtree and opened in 1977, is regarded by many as one of the finest tracks in the area, better than most of the nearby private members‘ club courses. However, the Council recognises that investment in course drainage and improved clubhouse facilities is vital to ensure that the course remains playable all year round and to continue to provide the service standards expected by today’s golfers.
The 18 hole par 71 golf course is located in the Green Belt in the picturesque setting of the 60 hectare Duxbury Park on the edge of Chorley, a thriving market town on the fringe of the Pennine Moors. A strong potential market of 1.14 million people resides within 30 minutes drive of the course, which adjoins the A6 and is within easy reach of the M6 and M61 motorways.
Following the Council’s own Best Value Review in 2002, and more recently, a report from specialist leisure industry consultants John Ashworth Associates, the Council is seeking interest from private sector operators who would bring expertise in golf course management and through the terms of a lease would finance the new investment programme.
The clubhouse, changing rooms, golf shop and cafeteria are located in buildings needing replacement. Alongside them, however, are three Grade 2 Listed buildings of historic significance, set in walled gardens with courtyard parking, providing an attractive setting for the proposed new clubhouse facilities. The Listed buildings used to be ancillary to Duxbury Hall, now demolished, which is reputed to have been the home of Myles Standish, the captain of the ‘Pilgrim Fathers‘. The Council is promoting the area as a tourist attraction.
The Council is seeking expressions of interest from experienced golf course operators who would work with the Council to agree the most appropriate development solution for improving the course facilities and drainage. Up to £1 million of investment is planned and the Council is prepared to discuss the most appropriate funding formula with the chosen operator, whether the capital is provided by the Council and reflected in the terms of the lease or is funded directly by the operator. In addition to clubhouse improvements and drainage works, the Council would welcome proposals for improved golf practice facilities and hotel accommodation at the site.
The closing date for registering initial expressions of interest is 16th June 2005. Any private sector operators interested in exploring a leasehold interest in Duxbury Park Golf Course should contact in the first instance Mark Smith of the Council’s retained consultants, John Ashworth Associates, who will distribute an information pack – telephone 01722 742277 or

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