Enthusiasts fear much-loved Leeds golf course is doomed

Middleton Park Golf Course, Leeds.
Middleton Park Golf Course, Leeds.
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Residents fear the decision to close a council-run Leeds golf course has already been made.

Leeds enthusiasts are concerned that Middleton Park Golf Course could shut at any time after a consultation exercise in July ended which made clear Leeds City Council was running it at an annual loss of around £103,000.

Worried locals have contacted both councillors and Morley and Outwood MP Ed Balls to seek assurances that its future will be debated publicly, with Mr Balls sending a letter to the council personally.

A spokeswoman for Leeds City Council has, however, stated that a report on the course’s future will be debated at a meeting of its executive board on September 17.

Chris Welford, 67, a retired general manager who plays twice a week at Middleton, said: “I think the decision has been made and I think even the employees that I speak to there don’t know what’s going to happen to them if and when it closes.”

The Middleton Park course and Gotts Park Municipal Golf Club, in Armley, were earmarked for closure in 2013. They were then given a 12-month reprieve and now face an anxious wait to discover their fate. The council conceded earlier this year that an attempt to find a possible business case to keep them open has “not been successful”.

In a consultation document made accessible online earlier this year, the council put forward the idea of turning the Middleton course into a botanical garden as part of the Middleton Park estate. It claims the move would save the council £76,000 a year.

Coun Kim Groves (Lab, Middleton Park) said: “Nobody wants to lose any facilities across the city but we are faced with an unprecedented time.”

Leeds City Council has had to reduce parks and countryside service spending by £2.7million since 2010 due to cuts in central Government funding.

Stephen Ewen, 62, of Cookridge, who died of sepsis in 2017.

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