Global Edition

Private sector operator to improve Rotherham course

12.10am 20th October 2004 - Property

Great news for golf fans in Rotherham – the town’s municipal golf course is to be upgraded! Proposals are being invited by Rotherham Borough Council from suitably experienced operators in the private sector to both improve and run the 18-hole course at Grange Park. Droppingwell.
In October last year the authority commissioned the specialist golf property consultant, GDG Acornbridge Ltd., to carry out an in-depth and independent review of all the future options for the course that are available to the Council.
After taking into account the government’s ‘Best Value‘ criteria, as well as the need to secure the course’s long term future and keep prices affordable for local residents on a ‘pay as you play‘ basis, the review concluded that leasing Grange Park to a suitably experienced private sector operator was the most appropriate way forward.
Grange Park Golf Course was built in the early 1970s on a former pit site and includes a clubhouse and practice facilities. The golf course extends to 6,421 yards with a par of 71 and benefits from 30 plus years of maturity. It has a good reputation as a municipal course although winter playing could be greatly improved with further drainage work.
Grange Park has a loyal customer base and the Council is keen to secure the long-term prosperity of the Borough’s only municipal golf course. Investment is needed over the next three to five years to bring the venue in line with modern golfing expectations.
The consultants are confident that the course will interest professional companies. It is in an excellent trading location. According to census data specialists, around 1.35 million people live within a 30-minute drive of the course, which is located just over a mile from junction 35 of the M1, three miles west of Rotherham and four miles from the Meadowhall Shopping Centre.
Mark Smith of GDG Acornbridge said, “Increasingly, councils are thinking about allowing experienced private sector operators to run their municipal courses. The course at Grange Park is an important asset for Rotherham Borough Council and we think that a private sector operator will be able to focus on investing in the property and business to improve it for the benefit of the local community.”
Councillor Georgina Boyes, Cabinet Member for Education, Culture and Leisure for Rotherham Borough Council, added, “A fundamental requirement of the authority is to ensure that Grange Park remains open to all at reasonable prices, and that it does not turn into a private members club. If an operator is selected there will be control mechanisms in the lease to ensure that Rotherham Council’s key objectives are followed. Importantly this will include the continued use of ‘Rothercard‘ for those eligible to obtain discounts on the cost of playing golf at the course.”
The closing date for registering initial expressions of interest is Monday, 8th November. Any private sector operators interested in leasing Grange Park should contact Mark Smith at GDG Acornbridge Ltd. A shortlist of interested parties will then be chosen to make detailed bids to the authority. Further information about Grange Park Golf Course can be obtained by contacting Mark Smith at GDG Acornbridge Ltd on 01722 742277 or 07951 587303.

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