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Allerton and Kirkby municipal golf goes into private hands

It's a fair way to save £1.7m, says city council

Written by . Published on January 3rd 2014.

Allerton and Kirkby municipal golf goes into private hands

UPMARKET Formby Hall Golf Club is to take over the municipal golf course in Kirkby in a 25-year deal, Liverpool City Council has announced. 

And Allerton Golf Course is set to be run on a similar “lease” by a new offshoot of environmental firm Glendale. The council says it secures the future of pay-as-you-go golf in Liverpool. 

The plan is to be discussed on Friday January 10 at a meeting of the Mayor’s Cabinet. 

Assistant Mayor and culture supremo Cllr Wendy Simon will be recommending the city council enter into the arrangement for Kirkby with Formby Hall Golf Club plc, the golf and spa resort operators, and Glendale Golf Limited for Allerton. 


The new deal will wipe out an overspend and subsidy estimated to total £339,000 this financial year alone – saving the city around £1.7m over the next five years, it claims. 

Council finance bosses have been teed off by the subsidy for every round of municipal golf played. On average, over the last five years, the council has subsidised every round of golf played to the tune of £5 – almost 400,000 rounds in those five years for wannabe Tiger Woods. In the 2012-13 financial year, the subsidy was £7.27 for every round played. Allerton Golf Course

Allerton Golf Course

Formby Hall will initially pay £5,000 a year rent for the Kirkby course, rising by £5,000 a year to £25,000 a year by 2019, and then rises linked to inflation. 

Glendale will pay a rent of £60,000 a year, rising by inflation each April.

The new custodians of the courses have been told they must continue to provide affordable and accessible “pay and play” golf. 

They will also be encouraged to invest in the courses through upgrades and appropriate additional facilities to attract customers. 

Cllr Simon, said: “This is a really good deal for the city council. It will not just save money, but will also secure the future of two long standing sports facilities. 


 “We can no longer afford to subsidise the courses to the tune of almost £5 per round, but we know how much they are appreciated by the people who use them. That is why we have worked extremely hard over the last few months to put together a deal that satisfies everyone. 

 “This proposal will make sure that they continue to operate at a price that is affordable to users and receive investment to make them sustainable in the long term.” 

For legal reasons surrounding the new arrangement the council will be legally required to advertise the initiative as a disposal of a facility. However the site will retain the same use and remain in the ownership of the council.

The new operators will take over the courses by April.

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69 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

AnonymousJanuary 3rd 2014.

They should build those adored executive homes the mayor wants on Kirkby golfcourse and leave the beautiful Sefton Park Meadows alone. Look at how much the council has been subsidising the two golf courses, a fiver for ever round of gold! Looking after the Meadows is next to nothing. The mayor should remember with his ambiltions for Sefton Park and its environs. This is Liverpool, not Blackpool

John ShawJanuary 3rd 2014.

I would not like to see any golf course built on, nor the meadows. I see from the article and accompanying photograph that they both belong to the city. Residents and golfers of adjoining boroughs make use of the City of Liverpool facilities, sometimes discounted , sometimes freely, as we Liverpool people make use of their facilities. It's reciprocal, however, it would appear that none of these boroughs are any better placed than ourselves, when it comes to central government funding. If we are to enjoy the benefits of these facilities, and continue to do so, we must bite the bullet, and recognize this arrangement as being the correct and only offer on the table

2 Responses: Reply To This...
Francine PalantJanuary 3rd 2014.

It sounds a sensible solution though it will probably be a fair bit more expensive. I hope that there will be discounts for children, young people and the unemployed.

John ShawJanuary 3rd 2014.

Sounds like a sensible suggestion, however it will operate independently of Council control. I'm quite sure our city fathers will posture such a proposal, if asked, whether or not it is received in the same spirit remains to be seen.

AnonymousJanuary 3rd 2014.

Lots of talk about reasonable prices but no talk of what the actual price is now or will be in future. But by the sounds of it at least £5 a round more expensive.

3 Responses: Reply To This...
John ShawJanuary 3rd 2014.

I personally don't play golf, so I wouldn't know what a reasonable price would be. It's to be hoped that whoever operates the new scheme has their finger on the pulse, if it is to be successful. In the meantime lets not pre-empt for now, a laudable solution........We're not talking about the roof over your head or whether or not you'll be eating tonight. If we can't afford it , then we'll do without. It is one of many choices we have in life.

AnonymousJanuary 6th 2014.

I think price is quite important when your outscourcing a public service. If the private sector can increase prices as they choose and run it for a profit then the council could have done the same. For all we know the private sector might make a mint off this which could have been cash in the cities pocket.

John ShawJanuary 6th 2014.

Fair point, "affordable and accessible", rising by inflation each year. We "The City" are fighting fires everywhere, whether we have the expertise or the will to make a success of such a venture is debatable, our track record would indicate otherwise. The new custodians hopefully will bring some innovative ideas of their own to the fore.

AnonymousJanuary 3rd 2014.

Can't we just ban golf?

Martha FitzsimmonsJanuary 3rd 2014.

Personally, I'd demolish every course in the country they are a gross obnoxious misuse of land that should be better employed with decent cost effective housing.

AnonymousJanuary 3rd 2014.

We can't get rid of golf courses, they're the only places left to pass brown envelopes thanks to all the CCTV cameras.

AnonymousJanuary 4th 2014.

Didn't the city council, some years ago, pass that lovely place it owned in North Wales to a private operator, with promises of cheap breaks for Liverpool kids (some of whom would never otherwise get away from the city), and didn't the price just keep rising and rising until low income families could no longer afford it.

7 Responses: Reply To This...
Ian ItitionritesJanuary 4th 2014.

Colomendy Camp? PRIVATISED?

AlynJanuary 4th 2014.

That puts me at Loggerheads with the Council.

AnonymousJanuary 4th 2014.

Colomendy was like Colditz. It even had a gun tower by the gate. I was glad to escape. Some kids dug a tunnel and learnt to speak Welsh, but I robbed a motorbike and jumped over the fence. We also made Moonshine to keep our spirits up.

Glan AlynJanuary 6th 2014.

STOLE a motorbike FFS. It was the owner that you robbed.

AnonymousJanuary 6th 2014.

I was more concerned with getting away than grammar

Glan AlynJanuary 8th 2014.

But as the song says, 'There's no-one quite like grammar'

AnonymousJanuary 8th 2014.

"Thanks for the Mammary" Tithead.

AnonymousJanuary 4th 2014.

How about building something like a ski-slope, that could earn a few bob (for somebody!)

7 Responses: Reply To This...
Alf PisteJanuary 4th 2014.

You're taking the piss........Remember the one in Kirkby...........it finished in the slow lane of the M57. ....It began disintegrating after three months, it was constructed from the rubble of the factories that once provided gainful employment for the disenfranchised abandoned Liverpudlians of yesteryear.

AnonymousJanuary 4th 2014.

A Ski slope facing the M57, it's what passes for birth control in Kirkby.

The Other 'AlfJanuary 4th 2014.

You're wrong......They used to have the pill back then.........It was 4ftx4ft..........They didn't swallow it........They just rolled it behind the bedroom door.

AnonymousJanuary 4th 2014.

1976 called and said can it have it's joke back?

John BradleyJanuary 4th 2014.

The one in Kirkby developed a crack just after it was built. The councillors wouldn't even go and look at it, in case it collapsed and they had to be mind out of their piste.

'AlfJanuary 4th 2014.

The old ones are the best, it's the way you remember them.

AnonymousJanuary 4th 2014.

"1976 called and said can it have it's joke back?" I thought Brendan Rodgers was 40 not 38

Jacob S. ClubJanuary 4th 2014.

Poor people don't play golf! How on earth can they afford the ridiculous trousers and the Pringle jumpers?

G. N. TeeJanuary 4th 2014.

Are the rounds in the Nineteenth Hole also subsidised by the Council?

AmosJanuary 8th 2014.

Why is it Laz, that every sensible article that you write, degenerates to the point of tedium in the comments forum. There comes a point when the arbiter between good and banal, should blow the whistle. I blame television, if there were any decent programs other than soaps and celebrity nonsense, then we wouldn't be writing it.

2 Responses: Reply To This...
Glan AlynJanuary 8th 2014.

ProgramMEs FFS.

Amos AnimosityJanuary 8th 2014.

Just today I heard some Taffy sigh, oh me oh my, seven times he got aboard his train, seven times he hurried back to state his case again, and said.......What's it got to do with you, anyway.....cut that language out........Coming over here putting your nose in where it's not wanted. Anne Robinson was right, it's not a Welsh programme, it's not about milking in Cilcain, it's about talking in Dorking.

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