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Sefton Council Cabinet asked to approve plans to seek investment partner for Southport Golf Links

The shadow of a golfer swinging their club with the backdrop of a sunset

At their meeting on Thursday 10th March, Sefton Council Cabinet members will be asked to approve a new vision, and the plan to seek a commercial partner to invest in Southport Golf Links.

Golf Coast

Originally opened in 1912, the 18-hole, Council-owned, links course 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.

Pay and Play

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.

Huge potential

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.

Cllr Ian Moncur, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing said: “Sefton Council is keen to improve the offer for existing golfers and to give local people new to the sport, a chance to try it out.

“In January, we opened the new, £240,000 driving range at Bootle Golf Course and now we want to make similar improvements at Southport, on Sefton’s famous Golf Coast.”

Details of the Cabinet meeting can be found here. 

 

Companies to be offered opportunities to invest in Ainsdale’s Sands pub

Nigel Thompson / Ainsdale Beach railway station (site), LancashireSefton Council is set to offer local and national companies the opportunity to invest in the former Sands pub building in Ainsdale.

Located at the gateway to the hugely popular Ainsdale Beach and dune-scape on Sefton’s stunning Natural Coast, the Council-owned property has been identified as a key site for potential regeneration.

Premier

Ainsdale Beach is recognised as one of the premier beaches in the UK for extreme kite activities. There are zones set aside for kite buggy and land-board use and kitesurfing takes place on the sea.

The beach has been awarded International Blue Flag status on several occasions, as well as also receiving multiple Keep Britain Tidy’s Quality Coast Awards, indicating the standards of beach management are among the highest in the UK.

Sefton Council continues to heavily invest in regenerating the area around Ainsdale-On-Sea.

Last year saw the incredible Sand Lizard mural created a Toad Hall by Paul Curtis and trials of new of food & drink outlets.

New toilet facilities and more off-beach parking are also being developed.

Ripe for regeneration

Cllr Marion Atkinson, Sefton Council’s Labour Cabinet Member for Regeneration & Skills, said: “For many, the Sands Pub building is the first sight they see when visiting our beautiful coastline and the building was once synonymous with Ainsdale’s history prior to its closure years ago.

“The site is ripe for regeneration and has incredible potential and we know from stringent market testing over the past year that there is wide scale interest from local and national organisations, keen to invest in it.

“We will now work with agents Fitton Estates and Savills with the goal of creating suitably impressive welcome to this visitor hotspot popular point on Sefton’s glorious 22-mile coastline.”

Investment

The decision to place The Sands building on the market follows high levels of public support for more investment in the Ainsdale beach area

Regeneration of the Sands site will complement other projects in the town  including the Marine Lake Events Centre, the Enterprise Hub and the ongoing successes of the new Southport Market.

A decision on the how the redevelopment of the former Sands pub site may be progressed is expected to be made later this year.

Final chance to apply for Green Sefton Ranger vacancies!

Sefton Council is reminding people interested in one of its vacancies for Green Sefton Rangers have just until Sunday 27th February to apply.

People interested in working outdoors, including on Sefton’s beautiful, 22-mile Nature Coast and beaches, in its beautiful parks and green spaces and on its popular Bootle Golf Course, can find links at www.sefton.gov.uk/jobs 

Green Sefton staff at Ainsdale beach

Some of the roles are seasonal and involve shift working while others are permanent and largely Monday to Friday.

As well as advising and assisting the public, Seasonal Coast Maintenance rangers would be carrying out litter picking, sand removal and occasional grounds maintenance tasks as well as emptying bins.

Grounds maintenance roles cover Sefton’s parks, and involve grass cutting, litter picking and emptying bins. One, at Bootle Golf includes general maintenance such as greenkeeping duties and ball collection on the new driving range.

Sefton Council is committed to equality and social inclusion as an employer and service provider.

Green Sefton Manager, Mark Shaw said:

“At Green Sefton we manage the Borough’s internationally recognised coastline which supports some of the rarest flora and fauna in the country, to coastal habitats rarer than rainforest.

“We look after Sefton’s busy parks and gardens and 160 other greenspaces and manage sport and recreation facilities as well as cemeteries and crematoria.

“These Ranger roles are an opportunity to join the team, to work in the outdoors and help ensure Sefton is at its best for residents and visitors.”

You can find all Sefton Council vacancies here.

Coastal Contamination in Sefton

An oil release offshore means small tar balls may wash up on the Sefton coastline in the coming days and weeks.

A Sefton Council spokesperson said: “We have been made aware of a limited quantity of hydrocarbons (oil) being released off off the North Wales coast.

“Owing to currents and weather forecasts in the next 24 hours, we may see deposits, in the form of ‘tar balls’ washing up on our coastline as a result of this incident.

'Tar ball' sighting along shoreline

“We would also stress that removal of this waste should only be carried out by professionals, and we ask that members of the public do not attempt to remove any ‘tar ball’ deposits.

“While this type of incident is rare, Sefton Council and its partner agencies have robust plans in place to ensure any contamination or disruption to our coastline is minimal.

“We will be supporting ENI UK Limited’s clean up teams in the coming weeks to remove any potential contamination.

“Posters have been erected along our coastline to inform visitors to our beach of this issue and we would ask that dogs are kept supervised at all times.

“If you come across these deposits, in the first instance please call 0151 934 2961 to report this to the Rangers at Green Sefton.”

For more information on this and guidance, please visit sefton.gov.uk/oilspill

Free bucket of balls for under 16s in half-term offer at Bootle Golf Course Driving Range

Golf balls spilling out of a basket.Under-16s will have the chance to try out the new driving range at Bootle Golf Course, for free during next week’s half-term holiday.

Between 9am and and 3pm from Sunday 13th to Sunday 20th February, under-16s accompanied by a paying adult will qualify for a free bucket of balls to hit.

Swing

Sefton Council opened the new, £240,000, floodlit driving range at Bootle Golf Course on Monday 31st January. Players can use its 10-bays to practise their swing between 8am and 9pm Sunday to Friday and from 8am to 7pm on Saturdays.

Prices are just £6 for 100 balls or £4 for 50 and people can just turn up to the course shop, pay and play.

Great-value

Cllr Ian Moncur, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member Health and Wellbeing said: “One of the reasons we developed the new driving range was to give people new to golf, a chance to try it out so I’m delighted we can provide this great-value offer to under-16s, just weeks after its opening.”

Sefton Council’s built the new Bootle Golf Course after carrying out a consultation with golfers and local residents. People who responded supported the provision of better practise facilities at the Council-run course.

Positive feedback

Cllr Moncur added: “The new driving range will mean golfers in Sefton will be able to practise all year round and well into the evenings during the darker winter months when short days can make fitting a round in a bit difficult.

“I am pleased to see that despite the bad weather since we opened, we have had a steady stream of players at the driving range and some positive feedback.”

Bootle Driving Range has a dedicated coaching bay and the Council’s Green Sefton team will be advertising for a course professional to provide training.

Prices

Adult prices to play a round at Bootle Golf Course start at just £13. Information about Sefton Council’s Bootle and Southport Links courses, including prices, can be found at www.sefton.gov.uk/golf.

People can also contact the Bootle Golf course office on 0151 928 1371 to book tee times.

Last month, Sefton Council welcomed the news that the Cazoo Classic will be held at Hillside, on Sefton’s glorious Golf Coast, in July.

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