Advice to a tee for leisure group's golf plans | 06 August 08

WALLSEND Golf Club is teeing off for a new era thanks to its acquisition by Keeping Inn Ltd from North Tyneside Council, helped by leading North law firm Ward Hadaway.

New start for Wallsend Golf Club

Teeing off – (from left) Helen O’Neill from Ward Hadaway, Chris Sanderson from Keeping Inn, Lesley Fairclough from Ward Hadaway and John Sanderson, chairman of Keeping Inn, at the new Centurion Park golf course in Wallsend.

The 18-hole course just off the Coast Road at Wallsend, re-branded as Centurion Park, has been transformed into a centre of excellence for golf with a range of improvements designed to boost membership levels and its use by the community.

A major upgrade of facilities is underway. The new “Happy Gilmore’s Bar” is now complete. The floodlit driving range and locker rooms are currently being upgraded and improved signage to the complex will be installed.

A new large retail golf discount shop is due to open in October 2008 and a golf academy will open later this year while future proposals include the addition of a nine-hole par three golf course and a family crazy golf centre.

Keeping Inn Ltd hopes to present their plans for the complete redevelopment of the old Wallsend Sports Hall, part of the existing complex, to North Tyneside Council within the next 12 months.

John Sanderson, chairman of Keeping Inn Ltd, said: “We hope this will be the start of a brand new era for the club.

“We are delighted that North Tyneside Council selected Keeping Inn Ltd as preferred developer for the site because we are confident we can build on the established clientele of the complex and provide additional facilities to increase its community use and public appeal.”

Keeping Inn Ltd is a subsidiary of STR Enterprises Ltd, a Newcastle-based family company with a long track record of success in the hotel and leisure industry.

STR Enterprises Ltd owns and operates hotels throughout the region including the Victoria Hotel in Bamburgh the Honest Lawyer Hotel in Durham and the Manor House Hotel and Country Club in West Auckland, Co Durham.

Keeping Inn Ltd also operates the award-winning Centurion bar and Deli at Newcastle Central Station and the Quayside Exchange conference centre in Sunderland.

Ward Hadaway advised Keeping Inn Ltd on all aspects of the acquisition, to include the development proposals.

Lesley Fairclough, commercial property partner at Ward Hadaway, led the firm’s team on the transaction, assisted by property associate solicitor Helen O’Neill.

Lesley said: “Keeping Inn has some fantastic ideas for future development at the golf complex and we at Ward Hadaway were delighted to assist with the acquisition.

“As well as our expertise in property matters, this transaction also necessitated a multi-disciplined team including members of Ward Hadaway’s corporate finance and employment units to ensure a successful outcome for Keeping Inn Ltd.”

Cllr Eddie Darke, North Tyneside Council’s cabinet member for Safe and Active Communities, said: "The investment in Wallsend Golf Club is great news and will deliver some major improvements.

"It forms part of a package of investments in facilities in the south west of the borough which, when combined, will mean the area has the best sport and leisure provision in North Tyneside.

"Work is under way on the new swimming and fitness facilities for Wallsend and the existing sports facilities at Burnside Business and Enterprise College are available to the general public."

* Ward Hadaway can help with a whole range of commercial property transactions. For further details, please contact Lesley Fairclough at lesley.fairclough@wardhadaway.com or click here.