Petition launched to save popular Wigan golf course

Local golfers have launched a petition to save their club after it was confirmed that it will permanently shut next month.
Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now

Craig Riley is one of many members of Beacon Park Golf Club at Up Holland who have been devastated by the news from the council that it will be closing in March following a vote by West Lancs councillors.

A petition he created has received over 1,000 signatures urging the authority to save it, showing the popularity of the course which he believes has gone downhill in recent years due to mismanagement.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Serco took over 10 years ago and immediately began to place landfill nearby, including the first hole, to a point which resulted in the waste spreading onto the fairway.

Members are disappointed by the local authorities decision to close the golf course.Members are disappointed by the local authorities decision to close the golf course.
Members are disappointed by the local authorities decision to close the golf course.

Chris said: “With them doing that with the landfill it caused members to leave and find other places to go and play golf and the numbers started falling.

"All previous members have said once they put that first hole back in, they’ll be back.”

Another resident, Sarah Winstanley, also feels let down by the way that the golf course has been treated and states that it isn’t just affecting golfers, as many families and dog walkers use the Beacon due to it’s scenery but it has ultimately been dubbed as “the tip” by locals.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Sarah said: “The smell of the course was horrendous and it was full of general rubbish like nappies, not just builders waste.”

A petition to save the club gained over 1,000 signatures.A petition to save the club gained over 1,000 signatures.
A petition to save the club gained over 1,000 signatures.
Read More
Horse-loving Wigan mum given weeks to live welcomes a special four-legged visito...

In a piece on the West Lancashire Council website, town hall chiefs state that the closure will provide the opportunity for improved facilities that benefit both local people and residents to be created.

Despite this a number of businesses were interested in taking up the golf course at the end of Serco’s contract, with some having a bid submitted prior to hearing the news.

Love Golf Mcr was one of those keen on taking on the course, and had submitted a soft marketing bid in February 2022 requiring no subsidy in the hope of obtaining the contract in April of this year.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Richard Carpenter, Co-owner of Southport Golf Academy was also interested in the course and put in an expression of interest to begin laying the foundations and a roadmap to improving the course over a number of years.

The business model of the Southport Golf academy is similar, and so Mr Carpenter believed that Beacon Park could excel with the same approach if operating as a complex as opposed to a club.

But after sending a 30-page long expression of intent to West Lancashire Council, outlining his plans, he never received a response.

Mr Carpenter said: “It’s a course with great potential due to the area it’s in and can attract people from neighbouring towns.

"On average people travel 12 to 13 miles to play on their golf course so the catchment area is plenty big enough for the course to do well."

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

A spokesperson from West Lancashire Council said: “The decision of council to pause operations at the golf course was taken in the context of all information available at the time, including a market-testing exercise and the latest financial information from the existing contractor.

“The council are now moving forward with public consultation around the future vision for the site. Suggestions for activities, including those which are golf-related, will be reviewed as part of the scoping work to create a much-improved site which provides better accessibility to people of all ages and abilities, while being more cost-effective and financially viable in the long-term.”

Related topics: