Controversial Garnant Golf Club is saved by its members
The controversial Garnant Golf Club, which entered liquidation earlier this year despite receiving £160,000 of taxpayer-funded money, has been saved by its members.
Carmarthenshire Council paid Garnant Golf Club in Wales’ owner, Clay’s Golf, £160,000 from 2011 to 2013 to help run the venue until 2036, amid a wave of criticism from competing golf clubs. The facility had previously been a loss-making council-run golf club.
However, Clay’s Golf announced it had ‘run out of cash’ shortly after the payments stopped, and the club entered liquidation and its ownership was handed back to the council.
That announcement was so controversial that a member of the Welsh Assembly, Rhodri Glyn Thomas, called for an inquiry to be launched about the £160,000 payment and why the council had been seemingly unaware that the club was in financial trouble, while the club’s 170 members also expressed disappointment at the closure of their facility.
Carmarthenshire Council has now agreed to hand over the club to those members, after they requested a community asset transfer and submitted a business plan for the club.
A report which went before Carmarthenshire Council’s executive board said: “The current members of Garnant Golf Club have approached the authority with a proposal to take on the running of the facility on lease terms broadly similar to those agreed previously with GGC Ltd.
“A proposed lease agreement that transfers all responsibility for the maintenance and upkeep of the facility onto the members’ club is in the process of being agreed with officers from legal and corporate property. As part of their proposal the members’ club has set up a company limited by guarantee, and a copy of their constitution will be scrutinised again buy legal officers.
“Finally, they have provided a two-year business plan to the authority, a copy of which has been scrutinised by finance officers.”
Club captain Tony Falvey said: “We are both excited and delighted to be given this glorious opportunity.
“We have a determined 170-strong membership we will grow to ensure the sustainable life of this wonderful golf course. Our aim is to benefit and enhance opportunity in our own community and in Carmarthenshire and for golf in Wales generally.”
A statement on the club’s website says the venue is now ‘under new management’.