£20m investment will create 200 jobs and top class facilities at golf course

Plans for Kirkby Valley Golf Course

Green Circle Leisure has unveiled a £20m visionary masterplan to transform Kirkby Valley Golf course into one of the region’s top golf and family leisure destinations, creating 200 jobs in the process.

Founded on Green Circle’s “total golf” vision, the investment will include:

  • A greatly improved and remodelled par-72 Championship Course
  • A new nine-hole par three Academy Course and teaching hub
  • A state-of-the-art two-tier 40-bay driving range
  • A family-friendly 18-hole Adventure Golf attraction
  • A new purpose-built Clubhouse, golf shop, restaurant, and function space

The masterplan vision has been designed by golf architects International Design Group (IDG) which has designed award-winning courses and golf destinations across Europe, North America and Asia.

The ambitious masterplan has been developed over two years and is now being submitted for planning approval to Knowsley Council.

Green Circle’s managing director, Craig Coley said: “Ever since we took over the operation of Kirkby Valley from Liverpool City Council, we have been determined to realise the outstanding potential of the course and its location.

“Because the course was owned by Liverpool City Council, but located in Knowsley, we have had to work with both councils to craft a masterplan vision that is right for the area and delivers the best possible golf and wider family leisure facility for local people.”

In addition to creating a vastly improved and expanded golf offer, the Green Circle masterplan offers new additional sporting facilities including six Soccer-Five pitches, five all-weather tennis courts and a flat green bowling green.

Craig Coley said: “The key to the success and viability of our golf model is to provide both quality and variety. We’re providing golf opportunities to people of every age group and ability level alongside a welcoming and attractive family leisure and hospitality offer.

“We’re aware of the various major investment and regeneration plans proposed for Kirkby so our aim was to complement them by providing something that would be a major sporting, social and health and wellbeing asset for the whole community.”

Key to Green Circle’s approach is a commitment to ensure that as many as possible of the 200 new permanent jobs will be accessible to local people.

Green Circle will be working with Knowsley Council and training providers Knowsley Works, Transforming Lives and Myerscough College to target and train local people for jobs in green-keeping, hospitality, retail, marketing and events management.

It will also be working with Knowsley-based social business Fusion 21 to deliver jobs and apprenticeships for local young people during the construction phase.

Craig Coley said: “We have always said that Green Circle doesn’t just invest in facilities, we invest in communities and local people.

“We are proud of our track record investing in and developing talent. That could be helping to realise the sporting potential of young golfers or helping our workforce to develop skills and experience as the basis for rewarding careers.”

Plans for new clubhouse

IDG’s Andrew Craven, who led the masterplan process, said: “We are very mindful that this igolf course is a valued and important green space in Knowsley. By securing the long term future of a sustainable golf and sporting asset, we are guaranteeing its green status for future generations.

“We have a landscape and ecology plan that will improve overall biodiversity and have been careful that any new building and lighting will preserve the site’s openness and visual character.”

A planning decision is likely to be early next year. Green Circle has confirmed that, if plans are approved, works will commence in summer 2022 to be delivered in phases over a three to four year period, to ensure completion in time for Kirkby Valley Golf Course’s centenary anniversary year 2027/28.

Green Circle Leisure operate and own former municipal golf courses in Liverpool and St Helens. In addition to Kirkby Valley, it operates Sherdley Park (St Helens) and Allerton Manor Golf Club (Liverpool).

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