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Gloucestershire Business News

Cleeve Hill back on course for golfing future

Golf may continue on Cleeve Hill after various parties came forward to express and interest in take over from the departing tenants.

Cleeve Hill Common, overlooking Cheltenham, has housed a golf course for more than 125 years.

That looked to be coming to an end when Share Club Ltd gave notice it would not continue its lease after March.

And after an independent review concluded golf on the site was not financially sustainable without significant investment and an ongoing subsidy from Tewkesbury Borough Council, the council's executive committee decided to end its licence for the course at the same time.

But such has been the interest in conserving the course and a potential long-term lease for the clubhouse, the council is exploring another chapter in the venue's golfing history.

Councillor Robert Vines, lead member for finance and asset management, said: "We were so disappointed to be faced with closing Cleeve Hill Golf Club and so to have received this level of interest is nothing short of fantastic.

"We will be working hard to ensure we move quickly and we hope interested parties will be able to put forward bids in the coming weeks"

After a meeting of the executive committee, council officers and members will agree the heads of terms for a long lease for the clubhouse site and Cleeve Common Trust will seek a long licence to play golf on Cleeve Common.

Trust chairman Phil Robson said: "Cleeve Hill has been used as a golf course for 129 years so it has been very much part of the recent history of the common.

"The trustees are keen to preserve this part of its heritage and are really pleased the future for golf on this iconic course looks more promising.

"We will be working closely with the council as it seeks to find a new golf operator who will also provide facilities for the community at large."

He continued: "Of course, the trust will be seeking to balance the competing needs of preserving the ecology and ancient monuments of this Site of Special Scientific Interest while facilitating its enjoyment by golfers, walkers, runners, horse riders, cyclists and many other visitors."

If a new tenant is not able to take over before April, the council will ensure the clubhouse car park is available for public use.

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