First opened as a municipal golf course in 1928, Kirkby Valley on the outskirts of Liverpool will undergo a £20m transformation, creating 200 new jobs. Tony McDonough reports
A former municipal golf course that first opened in 1928 is to undergo a £20m revamp, creating 200 new jobs, under plans unveiled on Monday.
Green Circle Leisure, which last week put forward revised plans for Allerton Manor and its gold facilities in south Liverpool, aims to turn Kirkby Valley golf course on the outskirts of Liverpool into a top golf and family leisure destination.
Liverpool City Council operated the course, formerly just know as Kirkby Golf Course, until 2019. The city still owns the site but the course is now operated by Green Circle. The company also operates operate Sherdley Park gold course in St Helens. The new plan for Kirkby Valley includes:
- A greatly improved and remodelled par-72 Championship course.
- A new nine-hole par 3 Academy Course and teaching hub.
- A state-of-the-art 2-tier 40-bay driving range.
- A family-friendly 18 hole Adventure Golf attraction.
- A new purpose-built clubhouse, golf shop, restaurant, and function space.
The masterplan has been designed by leading golf architects, International Design Group (IDG) who have designed award-winning courses and golf destinations across Europe, North America and Asia.
The project has been developed over two years and are and is now being submitted for planning approval to Knowsley Council. Although the course is owned by Liverpool the land is actually located within the boundary of its neighbouring borough.
Green Circle managing director, Craig Coley, said: “Ever since we took over the operation of Kirkby Valley from Liverpool City Council, we have been determined to realise the outstanding potential of the course and its location.
“Because the course was owned by Liverpool City Council, but located in Knowsley, we have had to work with both councils to craft a masterplan vision that is right for the area and delivers the best possible golf and wider family leisure facility for local people.”
In addition to creating a vastly improved and expanded golf offer, the Green Circle masterplan offers new additional sporting facilities including six Soccer-Five pitches, five all-weather tennis courts and a flat green bowling green.
Mr Coley added: “The key to the success and viability of our golf model is to provide both quality and variety. We’re providing golf opportunities to people of every age group and ability level alongside a welcoming and attractive family leisure and hospitality offer.
“We’re aware of the various major investment and regeneration plans proposed for Kirkby so our aim was to complement them by providing something that would be a major sporting, social and health and wellbeing asset for the whole community.”
Key to Green Circle’s approach is a commitment to ensure that as many as possible of the 200 new permanent jobs will be accessible to local people.
Green Circle will be working with Knowsley Council and training providers Knowsley Works, Transforming Lives and Myerscough College to target and train local people for jobs in green-keeping, hospitality, retail, marketing and events management.
They will also be working with Knowsley-based social business Fusion 21 to deliver jobs and apprenticeships for local young people during the construction phase.