Agreement tees up future for golf on Cleeve Hill
By Rob Freeman | 29th January 2021
Golf will continue at Cleeve Hill after Tewkesbury Borough Council and Cleeve Common Trust agreed a deal with Cotswold Hub Co to take on the licence and a 125-year lease.
The council had decided to end the licence for golf on the common due to financial pressures after the tenants of Cleeve Hill Golf Club gave notice not to continue the lease after March.
But after interest from several parties, Cotwold Hub - founded by businessmen Nick Hovey and Sam Foyle - will take over the lease and licence from April 1.
Council leader Councillor Rob Bird said: "This fantastic announcement is the direct result of consistently pursuing a very clear objective, to enable golf to continue on this unique course if at all financially viable, and to achieve improvement to the site itself and better community facilities.
"This excellent Cotswold Hub Co proposal more than delivers on our four crucial criteria of enhancing the space for use by the community, protecting the local environment, protecting public access and being commercially sustainable."
Plans include transforming the clubhouse facilities together with new restaurant, cafe, accommodation lodges and a shared space where people can meet and work.
Mr Hovey, managing director of Gloucestershire golf membership business MASHIE Golf, said: "Cleeve Hill is an iconic golf course and to play a part in ensuring its legacy continues is very special.
"We are keen to provide continuity for Cleeve's existing golf members while allowing the club to thrive by providing better facilities, improving the standard of the course and encouraging membership growth from the local area, which will be the heartbeat of the club for years to come."
Mr Foyle said the company had "brought together the best-in-class local team" including architects, hospitality and golf management.
Cotswold Hub's proposal promised to deliver a place "where cyclists, walkers, golfers, riders, wildlife enthusiasts and historians all share a common interest".
Cleeve Common Trust chairman Phil Robson said: "We are thrilled that we have been able to retain the playing of golf on Cleeve Common.
"The course is considered to be of historical value within the world of golf, but it is also part of the history of the common.
"The plans that the Cotswold Hub Co have developed will provide a step change in the facilities that are available to all users of the common in an environmentally sympathetic way."
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