Leisure and Culture Dundee Performance and Future Developments13/08/19
DEVELOPMENTS that could sustain the future of public golf in Dundee are being proposed, which would mean that Dundee City Council’s golf provision is concentrated at Caird Park.
The construction of a driving range alongside an additional and new nine-hole course is proposed in the park to complement the Regional Performance Centre for Sport. If the proposals are implemented, the golf course in Camperdown Park would be closed.
Councillors on Dundee City Council’s policy and resources committee will be told that the gross expenditure on golf provision is in the region of £820,000 annually, with the operator, Leisure & Culture Dundee, requiring a subsidy of £440,000.
Implementation of the proposals, including the creation of a new driving range, could reduce the subsidy to £54,000 by 2021.
Problems with the infrastructure at the Camperdown course were identified in a 2016 technical report which indicated woodland management, drainage and irrigation would need significant investment to resolve and maintain playability.
A decline in golf participation nationally has been mirrored in Dundee with the number of rounds played at Camperdown Golf Course dropping from 23,968 in 2009/10 to 17,369 in 2018/19 with the club’s membership currently standing at 90.
Councillors will hear that the city council is not in a position to fully subsidise the delivery of golf at both parks and as a result Leisure & Culture Dundee will only operate golf services at Caird Park.
John Alexander convener of Dundee City Council’s policy and resources committee said: “This is a sensible approach to try to ensure sustainable public golf for the future in the face of difficult financial challenges.
“We welcome the innovative proposal from Leisure & Culture Dundee, as it shows that they are thinking about how to provide and develop the sport of golf and new participants in the future.
“The development of a driving range and the reinstatement of the nine-hole course at Caird Park would provide a first-class facility near to the Regional Performance Centre for Sport.”
“I would hope that when the golfers used to playing Camperdown see the new facilities planned for Caird Park, and the extremely good value for money offered by Dundee’s municipal golf facilities when compared with other alternatives, that they will make the move.”
The proposal comes as councillors also consider a report detailing the performance and impact of Leisure & Culture Dundee’s activities in 2018/19.
It reports an increase in customers across library and Information, cultural and leisure and sports services, taking the total to more than 3.1m. In the same time period the organisation had a gross turnover of £15.9m.
More than a million visits were made in person to city’s libraries, with Dundee Central Library retaining its position as the busiest public library in Scotland. A total of 63,236 individuals borrowed 1,458,127 items in 2018/19. The libraries also delivered 11,425 digital literacy sessions.
The success of the Bash Street Kids exhibition boosted visitor numbers at The McManus to 205,000, up 30% on the previous year, and more than 123,000 transactions were completed at the city box office. Broughty Castle Museum welcomed 49,000 visitors, almost 10% up on 2017/18 and more than 14,000 people were involved in the museums learning programmes.
Leisure and sports venues welcomed more than 1.7m visitors, almost half (627,000) of whom used Dundee’s swimming pools. The McTaggart Regional Gymnastics Centre hosted 117,000 visits and 90,000 attended Camperdown Wildlife Centre.
Sinclair Aitken, chair of Leisure & Culture Dundee added: "We've had another successful year managing facilities and services which provide wonderful cultural and leisure opportunities for the citizens of, and visitors to Dundee. We are excited by the proposals to establish a comprehensive golf centre in Caird Park and look forward to operating the nearby Regional Performance Centre for Sport which is due to open shortly.
“This will add to the many venues that Leisure & Culture Dundee (L&CD) operates on behalf of the Dundee City Council. However, we are sad that circumstances have led to the proposed closure of Camperdown golf course and hope that golfers will embrace the range of new playing facilities planned for Caird Park.
“Our management and staff continue to design, encourage and provide for the cultural, leisure and sporting aspirations of local people and our thanks are due to these loyal customers who continue to support L&CD."
The policy and resources committee meets on Monday (AUGUST 19).