Golf plan in Bridlington aims to lure UK tourists

An ailing golf club in Bridlington, East Yorkshire, is set for a reversal of fortunes after being taken over by a firm that plans to make the most of Brits holidaying in the UK.

Bridlington Golf Club has already taken on a new head greenkeeper and plans to employ a further two greenkeepers as part of a scheme to improve its courses and redevelop the site.

Lancashire-based Pure Leisure Group, which specialises in British and international holiday homes, took over the seaside golf club at the end of 2008 in a multimillion-pound deal. The golf club has been operated by the Hancock family since 1999.

It is securing its future with a £3.5m upgrade. This includes a renovated clubhouse, gymnasium and holiday cottages. The plan is to attract new customers to the golf club by cashing in on holidaymakers taking a break in this country.

Club manager Phil Hancock said it had been a huge relief to be able to keep Bridlington Links up and running. "A lot of golf courses are in deep trouble," he explained.

"These guys have money and are using it to go for a slightly different market. It is about pulling in different people."

A gym and fitness suite is due to open at the beginning of May, with planning permission being sought to create a swimming pool.

Improvement work is expected to be completed by the end of the year and a scheme to create 12 holiday cottages in a derelict farmstead will be finished by next spring, added Hancock.

"It was a relief when Pure Leisure bought the club," he said. "Business has been poor because of the weather and the credit crunch over the past two years. It is great to see the development happening that I couldn't do myself. Knowing everyone is still in a job is great."

Pure Leisure Group owns the Royal Westmoreland leisure resort in the Caribbean and Tydd St Giles golf club in Cambridgeshire.

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