Pitch and putt course to close after costing taxpayers £50,000 per year

Dip Farm Pitch and Putt, Lowestoft, will be shut down later this month. Photo: Sentinel Leisure Trus

Dip Farm Pitch and Putt, Lowestoft, will be shut down later this month. Photo: Sentinel Leisure Trust. - Credit: Archant

A pitch and putt golf course which cost taxpayers almost £1,000-a-week is set to close down after years of declining popularity.

Dip Farm Pitch and Putt, in Corton Road, Lowestoft, will shut its doors for the final time later this month.

Despite considerable investment the nine-hole golf course, which is owned by Waveney District Council and managed by Sentinel Leisure Trust, has seen its fortunes fade in recent years.

Marketing campaigns to attract customers have proved fruitless and WDC have said 'declining participation and increased costs to the public purse' has left the partners with no choice but to close the facility.

Graham Catchpole, cabinet member for operations and facilities at WDC, said: 'Obviously it is sad that we must take this decision, but given that we are currently losing £50,000 per year from the facility, it is the right thing to do and will enable us to deliver greater financial sustainability for our other leisure services.

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'It will help us to deliver new leisure opportunities and will of course help out other local courses by the removal of competition for participation.'

As well as offering family-friendly pitch and putt the course also allowed customers to enjoy foot golf – a cross between gold and football.

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Following the closure of the golf course the site will be maintained as open space for public use and options for the future of the location will be considered.

Mr Catchpole added: 'Naturally, we do not have unlimited resources to deliver leisure services so we need to make smart financial decisions which ensure that we can continue to invest in the wide range of facilities that we own and manage in partnership with Sentinel.

'We are committed to increasing participation in healthy activities, as was shown this summer in our free swimming programme and the considerable financial investment we have made in our facilities at Waterlane and Bungay Pool & Gym.'

Last week during WDC's cabinet meeting a proposed refurbishment of Bungay Lesiure Centre was approved – with a final business case to be brought back before cabinet in 2019.

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