Dec 8th, 2016
Local council wants to sell pitch & putt course
Which means likely closure
Words: James Greenwood
A local authority wants to sell a pitch and putt course that has seen rounds at it nearly half in the last five years. The sale could close the course.
Several municipal golf courses have been sold in recent years as a mixture of under-investment and falling participation has made them loss making.
Shropshire Council has begun a six-week consultation to sell the pitch and putt facility at Meole Brace Golf Course, where usage has declined from 2,590 visits in 2011 to below 1,600 this year.
The council says there are three options for the 3.95-acre site, but that selling the site is the preferred option. Two of the three options would effectively result in the venue being converted into a non-golfing facility.
The council’s head of business enterprise and commercial services, Tim Smith, said: “The overall usage of the facility is down by 1,000 visits in the last four years, from a peak of 2,590 in 2011. The area of the course is well located in terms of physical infrastructure and accessibility being adjacent to the inner ring road and the Meole Brace roundabout which serves one of the major routes into the Shrewsbury town centre.
“There is potential for an alternative use on the site which could generate a significant capital receipt should it be declared surplus to the council’s requirements.”
The options being put forward for the site include Shropshire Council continuing to operate and subsidise the facility, although it could be managed by another group.
Mr. Smith added: “It is considered that within this option, investment will be required in both improving the facility and in better promoting it to local residents. This option would not necessarily preclude any alternative ownership or management arrangements being considered in the future.”
The potential sale is also being put forward, with the land being described as ‘attractive’ in the report.
The final option is for an ‘alternative use for the site.
We just hate losing pitch and putt courses as they are so important to bringing kids into the game. Another grrrrr from us.