Popular Municipal Golf Course Saved - For Now
Golfers in Luton will be breathing a huge sigh of relief after it was confirmed that Stockwood Park Golf Centre - which had been threatened with imminent closure - will remain open as it currently operates, at least for now.
In February, Luton Borough Council announced that it was looking to make savings following the significant fall of income generated by Luton Airport, with the acclaimed 27-hole municipal facility potentially bearing the brunt of that impact.
However, following a public consultation and online petition that drew a major response, the Council has stated that the course will be supported for the time being.
"As a direct result of the impact of the coronavirus shutdown, the council is focused particularly on the future operation of the Golf Centre at Stockwood Park," the local authority said, as reported by LutonToday. "This includes the 18-hole course, the nine-hole course and the clubhouse building.
"We have had a huge response with a wide range of passionate views put forward.
"The golf course and the park are clearly valued by a large number of people.
"We have therefore agreed to undertake a long-term master planning exercise for the whole of the park to explore how we can best use the whole of the park for the benefit of the wider community.
"The masterplan is a big piece of work so the Golf Club will continue to operate as it is now for the time being, but we will undertake some necessary compliance works to the club house in the next few weeks.
"For the avoidance of doubt, there have never been any plans to build houses or any other similar development on the park. Our key priority is about ensuring that we maximise the recreational benefits of the park for the whole of the community."
Highly Recommended on Golfshake, Stockwood Park offers memberships from £45 a year, which grants access to competitions and handicap rights, but green fees or a season ticket subscription have to be purchased on top of that for regular play.
We have seen similar tales across the country, including the sad story of Allestree Park in Derby, while the golf boom has positively impacted other parts of the UK, something that has led to the introduction of a membership cap at Caird Park in Dundee.
It continues to be vital for the sport that these accessible and affordable courses thrive, with the hope now that a longer-term solution can be found at Stockwood Park, ensuring that local golfers will enjoy the benefits of that setting for many years to come.
For more information, visit https://www.stockwoodparkgolf.co.uk/.
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