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Golf club tees up for ace future

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By Abbey Morton
Lockerbie and Lochmaben
Golf club tees up for ace future

LOCKERBIE Golf Club is looking to get out of the bunker and onto the fairway with their new five year business plan.

There have been some testing times at the club in recent years as they have battled course problems, dwindling numbers and rising debts.

But this week their proposals for a new lease, made available ahead of the Lockerbie and Lochmaben Common Good Sub Committee meeting on Thursday, show a drive to get the course back on par.

The club has secured a minimum five year contracted income from Muirhall Energy of £10k per year, which will assist their future viability, and have also identified five priorities for the coming five years. They are: providing a professional junior coach, with the aim of increasing junior membership; joining BRS Golf, which markets the Golf Now App, to increase visitor bookings and partner with the Queen’s (Sure) Hotel, Lockerbie, to offer ‘stay and play’ bookings; fundraising and footgolf; environmental stewartship and wider amenity; and seniors.

Officials at Dumfries and Galloway Council have intimated that, in line with inflation, a yearly rent of £4000 will be payable if a new lease is agreed.

The hotel partnerships, also including the Cairndale in Dumfries, will offer a round of golf and bed and breakfast, starting from £65.

The business plan for 2022-2027 reviews the viability of the club and sets out a realistic budget. It also recognises challenges over the last decade to maintain levels of membership and visitor numbers.

And a report for the meeting by ward officer Steven Wylie, which accompanies the business plan, comments that the struggles ultimately led to a ‘decline in revenue, which has resulted in the club suffering financial losses’.

It recognises the potential for the future and says: “It is undoubtedly the case that bringing visitors to the club will help the future of the club but also other local businesses in the area.

“It is anticipated that visitor numbers can continue to grow, and the projections are based on around 1200 visitors per annum.”

Furthermore, plans for ‘footgolf’ are based on a successful fundraising competition run at the course last year which attracted 36 teams of pairs.

And the club has just been announced as the host for the UK championship for 2022 to be held in October.

The report added: “It is hard to say at this stage what benefit this will bring the club as at the time of writing the announcement has just been made, but the committee will work hard to ensure that full advantage is taken of the opportunity and that there will be benefits to hotels and other businesses in the area.

“It is also hoped that more local competition days can be arranged as well.”

Rent holidays from the council ‘cannot continue’, the report says, and the club has been working on reducing rent arrears accrued over 18 months with Castlemilk and Corrie estates and it is anticipated that they will be paid by the end of the five-year period through overpaying rent.

Furthermore, council officers have drawn up alternative documents should the committee decide not to enter into a new lease agreement with the club.

It is projected that they could achieve £3034 per annum if the land was to be used for agricultural purposes.


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