Community takeover lifeline for Leeds golf club

A golfer makes his way across a fairway whilst playing a round at Gott Park Golf Club, Armley, Leeds.
A golfer makes his way across a fairway whilst playing a round at Gott Park Golf Club, Armley, Leeds.
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A council-run golf club which was threatened with closure has won a second temporary reprieve, to allow members to come up with a viable business plan to save it.

As reported in the YEP last week, council bosses were proposing closing Gotts Park Golf Club in Armley and Middleton Park Golf Club, which both date from the 1930s, on October 31.

The clubs were losing more than £270,000 a year between them due to falling memberships. However earlier one-year reprieves for both had failed to produce satisfactory alternatives.

At a meeting of Leeds City Council’s cabinet yesterday, the panel agreed – after requests from opposition councillors – to allow Gotts Park more time, with the help of council officers, to come up with a viable plan to allow members to run it themselves.

It was suggested that recent successful community takeovers like the one at Bramley Baths could be used as a model.

However Middleton Park Golf Club will close as scheduled on October 31, with plans already under way to turn the land into a public country park. The first year of landscaping work at the new park would be paid for with the £76,000 saved from the council subsidy.

Meanwhile YEP readers have been having their say on our social media channels and website.

Jenny Busfield wrote: “Does Middleton need more parkland? They already have Middleton Park and woods which are lovely.”

Marie Pearson added: “There is a private golf course in Middleton anyway. Be better giving us a swimming pool again.”

And keen golfer Darren Northfield said: “This is a dire situation. I have played many times on these and other courses, so if they close where are those who enjoy the game but can’t afford private course memberships supposed to play?”

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