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Axe-threatened Wakefield golf course set to be saved

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A municipal golf course threatened with the axe because of council cost cutting looks set to be saved.

Council chiefs in Wakefield have been seeking to offload Whitwood Golf Course in Castleford.

The council said it could no longer afford the £87,000 annual cost of keeping it open.

Charity Groundwork Wakefield and around 100 members of the club are set to take over running the course from June 1 after 18 months of uncertainty over its future.

The team behind the takeover say the golf course will still be open to the general public on a pay as you play basis.

Final details of a long-term lease agreement are currently being finalised with the council.

Andy Dalton is operations director for Groundwork, a charity which specialises in regeneration schemes.

He said: “Following transfer, a plan will be put in place to increase membership, upgrade the course and build upon the reputation of the club as being at the heart of the community.

“We are extremely excited to be spearheading this project which will make Whitwood Golf Club a viable and thriving community asset within the north east of the district and the surrounding area.”

Mr Dalton added: “If the transfer is successful we will make the golf course and club a quality and accessible golfing experience for all.”

Wakfield Council own Whitwood Golf Course and club members own the club house at the course, which currently turns over around £100,000 a year.

Whitwood Golf Club captain Sam Wickens, has been campaigning to keep the club open.

He said: “I’m extremely pleased for the members and the public. I was fighting for people in the Five Towns golfing community who don’t want to commit themselves to joining a private club because of the expense.

“Going forward we are looking at improving the course and the facilities for the local community.”

Wakefield Council leader Coun Peter Box said: “I am very pleased that negotiations are moving forward and with Groundwork on board we are hopeful that the golf course will remain open.

“I know how valuable this facility is to the local community.”

 

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