CSR analysis - Turf

Lower incomes will hit golf

Faced with the Government spending review, the turf sector is adopting a "wait and see" attitude. While some thought things will get worse, there was also expectation that firms will be able to ride out their problems and economic conditions will eventually get better.

Turfgrass Growers' Association chief executive Tim Mudge said: "It's too early to tell. Some projects - particularly those in the public sector - will be postponed or cancelled. But we're not expecting to see firms going out of business. Most will be able to adapt."

He pointed out that in addition to Government cuts, his members were also worried about the 20 per cent VAT rate, which is set to be introduced in the new year.

A British & International Golf Greenkeepers Association representative said the golf industry expected to take some hits over the next couple of years. He explained: "Golf is not seen as a necessity. People have less disposable income and less money will be spent on golf. This will undoubtedly affect us.'

The Institute of Groundsmanship also predicted a challenging future. A representative said: "Things aren't easy, but we will have to wait to see the fine details."

He added that groundskeepers employed - directly or indirectly - by the public sector would be at greatest risk. "We are working closely with local government and with contractors, some of whom are members of the institute, to ensure that expertise is not lost and that standards are maintained," said the representative.

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