Leeds golf courses get reprieve for year

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Two Leeds golf courses threatened with the axe have been given a stay of execution for a year.

As reported in the YEP, the Leeds City Council-managed courses at Middleton Park and Gotts Park were facing closure as part of the authority’s drive to slice £51m from their 2013/14 budget.

The council said a drop in the number of players at both courses meant that subsidising them was no longer an option.

But following crunch talks with representatives of the clubs at both courses, a decision has now been put on hold for 12 months to allow further consultation.

Leeds City Council executive member for the environment Councillor Mark Dobson said:“Following positive initial discussions with users and those involved at Gotts Park and Middleton golf courses around a range of community based initiatives which could possibly be pursued, we have decided to delay making any changes for 12 months to allow further consultation to take place.”

He added: “The current position at both courses is that user numbers are declining meaning that in the context of the severe financial challenges faced by the council they are unsustainable. It is therefore vital that new ways of delivering this service are explored.”

Chairman of Gotts Park Golf Club Alan Walls said: “Everyone one at Gotts Park is looking forward to working closely with Leeds City Council. We hope to see our collective vision of a packed golf course and a secure future realised in the coming years.

“We see a great opportunity to work in close partnership with LCC to develop a sustainable future for municipal golf both at Gotts Park and Leeds in general.

“We have a strong membership at Gotts Park and we hope to use that strength to work alongside the parks and countryside service to see this great golfing tradition continue for years to come.”

Chairman of Middleton Park Golf Club Ian Bertie added: “We would like to thank Coun Dobson and the Middleton Park ward members as we are delighted to receive news that we have been given a 12-month reprieve.

“We are in no doubt that we have a tough year ahead to try and keep our course open and we look forward to working in partnership with the city council to look at new ways of working that hopefully will secure the future of our golf course here at Middleton Park.”

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