Council appoints preferred bidder in the search for new Tapton Park Golf Course operator

Chesterfield Borough Council has appointed Link Golf UK as its preferred bidder in its search for a new operator to run Tapton Park Golf Course.

Since 2009 Sheffield City Trust has fulfilled the role under a lease agreement with the council, however the Trust will cease to operate later this year and the council has been seeking a new operator to take over the running of the courses and clubhouse.

Link Golf UK – formerly known as Love Golf – was selected as the preferred bidder following a marketing exercise which prioritised finding a suitably qualified operator with the financial ability to being fresh investment to the courses and clubhouse and a proven track record of increasing golf participation and delivering a range of community outreach activities.

Approval for the council to now enter into detailed negotiations was given by the council’s Cabinet on Tuesday 16 April. Subject to these proving successful, it is hoped Link Golf UK will officially take on the golf course lease from this summer.

Councillor Jonathan Davies, Chesterfield Borough Council’s cabinet member for health and wellbeing, said: “Tapton Park Golf Course is an important facility with fantastic potential in beautiful parkland.

“In seeking a new operator to look after the courses and clubhouse, we set out several long-term objectives with the intention of retaining it as a pay-and-play course that is open to all.

“Link Golf UK has proven expertise and experience of operating municipal golf courses. It has funding to invest in Tapton’s courses and clubhouse to maintain them to a high standard. It also offers a strong community outreach programme – and a commitment to work closely with the resident members’ club, which I know the members have welcomed.

“We will now begin detailed negotiations to finalise the terms of the lease. If and when Link Golf UK is formally appointed, we will work with it to announce the change-over date and address any issues that may affect customers. We anticipate that this will happen this summer.”

Tapton Park Golf Course features a full 18-hole course, 9-hole course, 6-hole pitch and putt course, a practice area, driving range, outbuildings, and a clubhouse. The course is built on parkland which was formerly part of the Tapton House estate.

In a joint statement, Andrew Terry and Joe Jackson, Directors of Link Golf UK, said: "We're incredibly excited about the opportunity to breathe new life into Tapton Park Golf Course, including the driving range and clubhouse.

“Recognising its rich legacy we're committed to maintaining its accessibility as a family-friendly venue. Our vision is to transform Tapton Park into a dynamic hub for family engagement, offering a range of activities that cater to all ages and skill levels. By incorporating the latest technology into the driving range and enhancing the overall experience, we aim to create a vibrant atmosphere where families can come together and enjoy quality time.

“Leveraging our proven track record in revitalising golf facilities, we're confident in our ability to invest and innovate at Tapton Park. We look forward to working closely with Chesterfield Borough Council and the resident members club to ensure a bright and prosperous future for this beloved community asset."

John Pearson, Chair of Tapton Park Golf Club, said: “Based on our initial discussions with Link Golf UK I am very optimistic for the future of Tapton Park Golf Club. We are really looking forward to working with Andrew and Joe to preserve and enhance the existing golf facilities for the benefit of the club’s members, local residents and visitors.”

First published on 18 April 2024 Last updated on 18 April 2024