26 Mar 2015

Social enterprise group to take over management of Gotts Park Golf Club

Picture caption: Golf has been played on Gotts Park since 1933.

A public golf course is set to be independently operated by a local social enterprise group after an agreement was reached in principle with Leeds City Council.

Gotts Park Golf Course in Armley could be managed by newly-formed Community Interest Company Gotts Park Golf Club from April 1 2015, after the council’s executive board approved last September the authority investigating the possibility of a new management agreement being reached with the club to stop the course closing. This followed an initial recommendation by the council after a wide-ranging public consultation that the golf course may have to close due to continued budgetary pressures.

Subsequently, discussions with the club have proved to be fruitful and after the formation of the new community interest group, both parties will now move forward on a proposal which will mean the course can remain open to the public on a turn up and play basis. Approval for the move has also been granted by the Wades Charities Trust who own both the land and mansion house on Gotts Park.

Home to a 5000 yard 18-hole golf course, this agreement, which will also see the formation of a new Friends of Gotts Park group, will help ensure that golf can continue to be played at the course, which has been managed by the council since its inception in 1933.

Councillor Mark Dobson Leeds City Council’s executive member for stronger, safer communities said:

"I am delighted to say that with the help and support of both Wades Trust and the Gotts Park Golf we have been able to reach an agreement with the newly-formed Gotts Park Golf Club Community Interest Company to keep the course open.

"A tremendous amount of hard work has been undertaken to get us to this this point and I am confident that with the commitment of all groups involved and the proposal to establish a Friends of Group, this is a move that will help secure Gotts Park as a tremendous community resource for many more years to come."

Alan Walls, trustee of Gotts Park Golf Club Community Interest Company said:

"I was first introduced to Gotts in 1973 as a fresh faced two-year-old and it has been a piece of my life ever since. Through golf and my membership of the club I have learned many of life’s most important lessons-Spirit, enthusiasm, determination, passion, with humility, fairness and friendship are at the heart of everything we do at our golf club.

"It has taken me from a member of the junior section to chairman of the club and now trustee. This new chapter of the clubs history will be challenging for us to say the least however, working closely with our partners we want to really encourage the local community to support us as not only will we continue to provide a wonderful golf course, but we want to explore other avenues where the local community can become more involved and are keen to establish a Friends of Gotts Park to protect this great asset for future generations to come."

For more information about the course, along with fees and charges, please see www.gottsparkgolfclub.co.uk

Notes to editors:

The council have managed the golf course since its inception in 1933 and offers impressive views across Leeds and the Kirkstall valley, the course is set in mature park land in the grounds of the equally impressive Armley House, once home to the wealthy Leeds mill owner Benjamin Gott.

The course was built and developed by Leeds City council to form part of the council’s municipal golf provision and opened on 21st April 1933. This followed LCC entering into a 999 year lease agreement with Wades Charities Trust in 1929 that was to see the land maintained as an area for “the playing of games” by the people of Leeds. Wades had taken ownership of the land and mansion house from the family of Benjamin Gott.

For media enquiries, please contact;

Colin Dickinson, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 39 51578

Email: colin.dickinson@leeds.gov.uk

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Leeds City Council Communications team