Future of loss-making golf course under threat

Allestree Hall Golf Course
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An East Midlands golf course is under threat after councillors said they could close it and return it to parkland after revealing it has been running at a loss for many years.

Derby City Council has launched a consultation on the future of Allestree Hall golf course.

Allestree Hall is a Grade II listed building located within the middle of Allestree Park, Derby’s largest open space and the home of the golf course.

The Hall has been unoccupied for over 40 years and is in a poor state of repair requiring an estimated £2.8 million in repairs and listed on Historic England’s Heritage at Risk Register.

To enable the repair of the Hall it was decided that it and all associated outbuildings should be sold. Allestree Hall was then marketed offering the opportunity for prospective buyers to operate the golf course as well. Following the marketing exercise, a preferred bidder was identified with a proposal to convert the Hall and its additional buildings into a wedding venue.

In September, Cabinet approved the sale to the preferred bidder and this process is underway.

However, the preferred bidders do not wish to operate the golf course and the Council has concluded that there are three options available:

Firstly, the Council to continues to operate the golf course, which would require “significant” financial investment in new facilities with no guarantee of success. This is not the preferred option.

Secondly, to partner with an alternative provider, similar to the arrangement at Sinfin Golf Course, or finally, to cease operation of the golf course with the course removed and returned to parkland.

At the same September Cabinet meeting it was agreed to launch a consultation on these options and the future of the golf course.

Cabinet also agreed to provide an opportunity for third party organisations to make viable business proposals which offer a sustainable future for the golf course and that if no viable proposals are received, that the golf course would be decommissioned and absorbed into the existing parkland.

Councillor Mick Barker, Cabinet Member for Governance and Licensing, said: “It’s really important for us to hear from all those people who have an interest in the future of the golf course and the park in general.

“The golf course has been operating for many years at a significant loss and we can no longer afford to keep operating as we have done previously. I do hope we can find an operator to run the course in a viable way as we have done at Sinfin and would encourage people to consider submitting an Expression of Interest as soon as possible.”