Swindon council puts its courses up for sale14th January, 2014 by Alistair Dunsmuir
Swindon Borough Council has put 75 percent of its golf courses up for sale.
The authority owns four golf courses, and has placed three of them on the market in a bid ‘to secure their futures’.
Several local authorities have handed over control of their municipal golf courses to other operators in an attempt to cut costs since the economic downturn began. In 2012 Birmingham City Council handed over all seven of its golf courses to Mytime Active, Leeds City Council is currently deliberating over its courses’ futures and Liverpool City Council has handed over its two courses to private companies in the last few days, for example.
Swindon’s town hall has put Broome Manor Golf Complex, Highworth Golf Course and Moredon Par 3 Golf Course on the market, along with six other non-golf sports’ facilities. If a buyer is found it will mean that Coate Water Golf will be the only golf venue that will be owned and operated by the council.
A spokesman for GVA, which is handling the sale, said that long leaseholds on the golf courses are being offered, but they must be bought either as one package or as two separate portfolios including the other venues. He added that the nine properties have an established trading record with a combined annual turnover of more than £5 million and “offer significant potential for future growth”.
Keith Williams, a councillor at Swindon Borough Council, said: “I hope this is a defining moment for leisure in Swindon as it is the first step in a process that could secure the future of our leisure facilities for many years to come.”