Sefton seeks commercial partner for golf links

A new commercial partner is being sought by Sefton Council to invest in the century-old Southport Golf Links. Tony McDonough reports

Sefton Council is seeking a commercial partner for Southport Golf Links


Sefton Council is seeking a commercial partner to invest in Southport Golf Links, an 18-hole course that first opened in 1912.

This Thursday (March 10) councillors on Sefton Council’s Cabinet will be asked to approve a new vision for the course which will include bringing on a new commercial partner to further develop the facility.

Southport Golf Links borders the town’s Marine Drive and forms part of England’s Golf Coast. In the report to next week’s Cabinet Meeting, it is stated that the course remains popular, but with the right investment has the potential for significant improvements to the course and its facilities for golfers and non-golfers alike.

It is hoped an investment partnership would benefit the course itself as well as the on-site White House Café building, which aligns with feedback from local golfers received during a recent consultation exercise. Soft market testing carried out in 2021 indicates there are opportunities to explore investment through a formal tender process.

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As part of the proposals, the council would retain management and operational control of the Southport Golf Links course itself, as a commitment to retaining it as a pay and play facility in a ‘municipal golf course’ manner.

It will continue to be priced accordingly. There is also potential for a medium-term lease on the currently-closed White House Café for a partner willing to invest in the building. This would create new hospitality facilities for players and visitors.

The report also says that existing capital funds available via a prudential loan to create a driving range could be utilised as part of the project, as the intention remains to deliver new practice facilities on the site.

Cllr Ian Moncur, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing, said: “Limited council resources, due to reductions in Government funding over the past decade, means that while we can maintain the Southport Golf Links, it really needs significant capital investment through a partner organisation.

“This would enable it to achieve its huge, long-term potential and deliver the kind of course local golfers have told us they would like to play on. Plus, it could mean the re-opening of the White House Café as an on-site hospitality asset.”

If the proposals are approved at the meeting on Thursday 10th March, Sefton Council’s Cabinet would also be asked to approve the appointment of any potential commercial partner identified.”

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