Marland Golf Course to close from April

Date published: 06 February 2019

Marland Golf Course will close from April 2019, as current operator Link4Life has said the running of the course is “no longer viable” for the charity.

Andy King, CEO of Link4Life said: “Marland Golf Course provided a number of key challenges for Link4Life.

“Whilst the course itself is of a good quality, we recognised that significant capital investment would be required to improve the physical assets at the site. For example, the building infrastructure and this, alongside a national trend of decreasing membership numbers in golf, has resulted in a gradual decline in Marland Golf Course members, poor financial performance and a reduction in long term sustainability for a number of years.

“After careful consideration, we came to the conclusion that it is no longer viable for Link4Life, as a charity, to be the sole operator of Marland Golf Course beyond April 2019 and undertook consultation to explore alternative options, including working with other providers, for the operation of Marland Golf Course.

“The consultation resulted in a few proposals which were presented to Rochdale Borough Council, but after evaluation, unfortunately none were sufficiently robust to ensure that the golf course would be sustainable in the short to medium term.

“As a result of the outcomes of this process, Link4Life will no longer operate the golf course and it will close with the management of the golf course being subsequently handed back to Rochdale Borough Council. The council will incorporate a review of the future of the golf course as part of its overall strategic review of all estates and other assets and will be conducting further consultation to invite people to submit their views.

“We understand that this is disappointing news, especially for customers using the golf course, but without an alternative option being available, it is not viable for Link4Life to continue with the management of the golf course long term.”

Councillor Janet Emsley, the council’s cabinet member for neighbourhoods, community and culture, said: “Since 2010 we have had to make £178 million of savings as our funding from government has been cut dramatically.

“We still have huge savings to make and there is no sign that cuts to council budgets are going to end, which means we have no choice but to keep making difficult decisions about where our resources should be directed. We realise that the members of the club will be disappointed by this news but as no viable long-term solution could be found, we cannot continue to fund a golf course when interest in the sport is dwindling.

“The council will now look at the options for future use of the site and we will be inviting people to submit their views through a consultation.”

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