GOLFERS CAN once more enjoy facilities at Grains Bar after Oldham Council gave the green light for a new and improved venue.
The Local Authority granted an initial licence to allow the Bishop Park facility to re-open immediately and conclude a 25-year lease as a pitch and putt venue.
And exciting new plans to improve the facility include introducing a café and upgrading the adjoining former cricket pitch to form a new driving range facility.
The lease will retain the right to use part of the existing car park for the benefit of walkers, local residents and visitors to Bishops Park.
Improvements will be carried out by Pennine Golf Ltd, who has previous experience in tending to golf courses throughout the UK, after their bid for the nine-acre land was accepted by the council.
Mark Cumiskey, Director of Pennine Golf Ltd, said: “The Bishop Park facility is an eye-catching site which has wonderful potential and our plans will keep the popular sport of golf in this area with a local hub for golfers to hone their skills and enjoy themselves.”
“We also intend to offer the facility to local schools and clubs, plus attract businesses in the area for mini corporate days in conjunction with our neighbours at The Kings Arms.
“However, we would not have been able to reach this stage without the co-operative partnership working with Oldham Council and the Bishop Park Trust Committee.”
Golfers from novice to expert level can enjoy the nine-hole, par three pitch and putt course with holes ranging from 89 to 119 yards.
In recent years it has only operated seasonally from April to October, but the new tenant intends to open the facility all year round for keen golfers to practice their short game.
Councillor Shoab Akhtar, Cabinet Member for Business and Town Centres, said: “This pitch and putt facility was making year on year losses and as a Council we decided, with the support of the Bishop Park Trust Committee, to advertise it on the open market earlier this year and try to revive its fortunes.
“Through our co-operative working here we wanted to make sure this stunning site remained a golfing facility for the public to enjoy – and one that will have better facilities.
“This is great news for the Borough and we’re delighted to grant this initial licence to the new tenant who has previous experience in tending golf courses across the country.
“Under the provisions of the lease, open access will continue to be provided to the site and the existing rights of way through the site will be unaffected.”