Wirral Council has put out feelers to internationally renowned golf and leisure developers and hotel designers to join forces in the creation of a multi-million pound world-class golf resort close to the Royal Liverpool links.
The complex – first mooted after Tiger Woods’ 2006 Open Championship triumph in 2006 – would be developed on 285 acres to the east of Hoylake municipal golf course at a cost of up to £70m.
Kevin Adderley, the council’s director of regeneration, told a press conference today said the vision had grabbed the attention of top developers on a world-wide scale.
He said: “We are asking them to form a partnership to work with us to deliver as realistic ambition based on Wirral’s proud golfing history.
“There has been significant interest from across the globe.
“For the moment we want them to contact us to express interest by the end of October. In November we will be in touch with them to determine how to move forward.”
He added: “By the time the British Women’s Open returns to Royal Liverpool we hope to have the development up and running.”
Wirral Council’s new chief executive Graham Burgess said developments in the pipeline – including the £4.5bn Wirral Waters project – promised a great future for Wirral Council and the peninsula.
He said: “I am absolutely confident that this place will be unrecognisable in a few years time.”
Mr Burgess said construction of further world-quality golf courses and a five-star hotel would bring in new visitors and boost the prospects of more major golf competitions in the area.
He said: “We hope to get big events every three of four years rather than every six years.”
He added: “We have a world-class asset in Royal Liverpool and we are determined to develop another world-class asset with this new golf complex.”
With the howling wind forcing a halt to play in the Ricoh British Women’s Open Championship the media centre was buzzing with the revelations from the council.
Deputy council leader Cllr Ann McLachlan said Wirral Council was looking for a legacy from the major golf championships hosted by the peninsula. That, she said, would come in the form of a top range golf resort and an improved tourism offer.
Cllr McLachlan commented: “We have a proud golfing history and a more exciting future.”
She went on: Tourism plays a major part in Wirral’s economy and it is growing. This growth has been aided by an improvement in the quality of our tourism businesses, particularly since were hosted the Open Championship in 2006.
“We believe the time is now right to speak to potential developers who would be interested in taking our tourism offer to another level with the development of a high quality golf resort.
The land we have earmarked sits largely within council ownership and although this is just a vision at present we would like to find out what interest there is ‘out there’ to move a project of this scale forward.”
The golfing resort will include a signature golf course featuring a private clubhouse and a five-star hotel with restaurant, health, leisure and conference facilities and a deluxe spa.
The proposals also provide scope for other sporting activities including water sports and pony trekking.
Consultants involved in regeneration plans for the area indicated that “a definite market exists for a top of the range facility in the North West.”
Kevin Adderley said: “We want developers to share our vision for a world-class facility to rival those at the K-Club (in Ireland) and Celtic Manor (in Wales).”