Golf club take-over tees up new jobs

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A FAMILY-RUN business hopes to revitalise a village golf club, creating 10 new jobs in the process.

Belford Golf Club has been bought by the independent, family-operated business Moorlands, which has concluded negotiations with C&V Developments.

The future of the club was jeopardised around a year ago when it removed memberships to become a pay-as-you-play club, meaning that its teams had to pull the plug on various competitions.

But now Michael and David Ratliff, who also own the Blue Bell Hotel in the village, are confident that they can make the venture an added benefit to local people and past and future members.

Catherine and Joe Wood, who were previously involved in the social aspects of the club, are helpingMichael and David.

All life and honorary memberships are being honoured and restored, competitive price structures with discounts are being finalised, staff are being recruited, letters have been sent to previous members and consultations with the club committee to gain feedback on local preferences are underway.

Michael Ratliff said: “It is our intention to restore Belford Golf Club to a vibrant, popular and thriving club through the development of the course itself, the clubhouse and practice facilities.

“The area and village are close to our hearts and we are fully committed to providing a sociable atmosphere where members and guests will be afforded the warmest of welcomes in comfortable and attractive surroundings.

“We aim to place the club at the heart of the community and to provide a stimulating range of social events to appeal to both golfers and non-playing visitors.”

The new owners plan to create an additional nine-hole, par-three course and develop the practice facilities. Adjoining land has been acquired for this.

But the existing planning permissions for a hotel are unlikely to be followed through as the company is focused on developing the golf club and course.

A free open day with children’s activities and free golf is set for Saturday, April 16, between 10am and 4pm. For details, contact 07877 737664, 01668 213543 or m.ratliff@hotmail.com