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Golf club get rent reprieve

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By Fiona Reid
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Golf club get rent reprieve

COUNCILLORS have stepped in to help Lockerbie Golf Club by slashing their rent.

Last week the club was rocked by closure rumours – which they have denied – following their plea to have their annual rent reduced from £3600 to £1500.

Volunteers who manage the club approached the Lockerbie and Lochmaben Common Good Fund, who are responsible for most of the club’s land, and asked them to consider a rent reduction.

The fund committee met on Tuesday night and agreed to lower the club’s 2016/17 and 2017/18 rent to £1500 a year.

However, it was noted that the club are yet to pay their 2015/16 rent.

Speaking after the meeting, the committee’s chairman councillor Stephen Thompson said: “Their rent was already due and they hadn’t paid it – they were invoiced in November.”

The committee agreed to credit the golf club the sum needed to pay their 2015/16 rent.

Mr Thompson added: “We are effectively giving them a rent reduction for three years.”

However, he wants to see the club ‘swallow their pride’ and make a much bigger effort to source funding from other avenues to help keep it alive.

Councillors intend to meet with the club and discuss plans for sustaining the course’s future.

Mr Thompson said: “My problem is that there is less in the pot for other groups. “We appreciate how much the golf club have contributed to the community over the years, however lots of groups have given a lot to the area.

“If, for example, the gala committee was in trouble and needed financial help we’re in less of a position to help them now too.”

Responding to and dismissing the closure rumours, match secretary Peter McGary called the rent cut a ‘step in the right direction’.

He said: “Initially it will be helpful. It would have been nice if it was reduced to zero.”

This is not the first time the club have approached the committee to consider a rent reduction.

In June 2013 the committee refused to lower their rent but awarded the club a £2100 onetime payment, with the condition that financial assistance would only be considered in future years if the club made a ‘sound’ business case and produced ‘satisfactory’ accounts.

 

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