Humberts Leisure, chartered surveyors and leisure business specialists, has been instructed by The Royal Parks to offer a 25 year (maximum) annual licence over Richmond Park Golf Course, the renowned 36 hole parkland pay and play golf complex located some 6 miles from Central London. There are said to be 820,000 people within a 20 minute drive of the property.
The licensee will be obliged to redevelop the central clubhouse facilities, to upgrade the golf courses and to continue to operate the facilities on a pay and play basis. The Royal Park’s preference is for a base licence fee, to be reviewed on a 3 or 5 year basis, plus a percentage of total turnover from all sources. The successful licensee will be expected to pay a premium of £50,000 on signing the licence.
Richmond Park’s two 18 hole golf courses enjoy a longstanding reputation as an outstanding venue for pay and play golf. The Prince’s course was opened by HRH The Prince of Wales in 1923 and the Duke’s course by HRH The Duke of York in 1925. The courses were designed by the well known golf course architects Hawtree and J H Taylor. They are typical of their age and type, enjoy an outstanding parkland setting and provide a challenge for golfers at every level.
Richmond Park extends over some 2,350 acres and is a heritage landscape of national importance. The Park was enclosed in 1637 as a hunting park by Charles I and stills retains many features of a deer park. English Nature notified Richmond Park (excluding the golf courses) as a Site of Special Scientific Interest in 1992. The Royal Parks has a policy of managing the golf course as a wildlife resource. The operator will be expected to adopt best practice in the management of the ecology and landscape and to respect the archaeology of the site.
The present licensees have been operating Richmond Park Golf Course since 1982. In recent years the facilities have been producing a turnover in the region of £1.5 million per year, with income from green fees exceeding £900,000 in both 1997 and 1998. The combined number of rounds played on both courses in these years was 93,954 and 88,728 respectively.
“In my opinion,” said Ben Allen of Humberts, “Richmond Park Golf Course is one of the most important pay and play courses to be offered to the market in recent years. It is an exceptional opportunity. The proposed redevelopment offers the potential for expansion of this already highly successful business for the benefit of all concerned, not least the golfers who play these historic courses. Initial expressions of interest are invited for the property by 15th April 1999.”