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Rescue plan unveiled to save Scotland’s ‘oldest’ golf course

POSTED ON March 24, 2016 @ 2:16 pm

2016-03-24_1415

Councillors to consider a six-year proposal to ensure the survival of the famous North Inch course in Perth.

It had been feared that Perth and Kinross Council would close the famous North Inch course in Perth — where golf has been played since the 1500s – due to financial constraints.

But after a storm of protest, councillors will vote on a rescue plan which it is hoped will preserve the famous sporting venue.

This will include retaining and strengthening the relationship with existing users through consultation and raising awareness of the course as well as targeting the Perthshire visitor market.

The plan will also see moves to attract season ticket holders, visitor golfers, and new golfers to the municipal “pay and play” course.

In a report on the business plan, Barbara Renton, Perth and Kinross Council’s director of environment, says the golf course has experienced an upturn in its performance over the last 18 months.

She says that if the projections that are contained in the business plan are met, it would reduce the council’s net outgoings on the golf course to £40,000 by 2021/22.

“There is also the opportunity to further reduce this expenditure pressure by continuing to stimulate interest in the course and generating income,” her report adds.

“Over the six-year period, the North Inch golf course business plan sets out an action for both promoting and developing the course.

“This is with a view to improving the users’ perception of the course, reducing the operating deficit and aspiring to achieve the full cost of recovery.”

The move was welcomed by Richard Barrance, 69, chairman of the North Inch Golf Course Users Group.

He said: “There’s always been this feeling that the course may be closed, and that it suffered from a lack of investment.

“This is a positive move and it’s good the council realise this famous golf course is a real asset to Perth.”

Ms Renton’s report will be discussed by members of the council’s environment committee.

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