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Reymerston's Norfolk Golf and Country Club to become farmland after site is sold

PUBLISHED: 14:49 07 February 2012

Club captain, Alec Thornber, front, and owner, Kate Barlow, front, with other members, teeing off for the last time as the Norfolk Golf and Country Club at Reymerston closes. Picture: Denise Bradley

Club captain, Alec Thornber, front, and owner, Kate Barlow, front, with other members, teeing off for the last time as the Norfolk Golf and Country Club at Reymerston closes. Picture: Denise Bradley

Archant 2011

A former mid-Norfolk golf club will be turned back into farmland after it was announced yesterday that the site had been sold.

The Norfolk Golf and Country Club (NGCC) at Reymerston, near Dereham, was owned by Ray and Kate Barlow and had some 370 golf members and 460 leisure members.

In September, the EDP reported that the business had been put on the market for £1.6m and on Christmas Eve dozens of golfers played their final rounds at the site.

Savills estate agents confirmed yesterday that the 159-acre site had been sold and would be turned back into farmland. The clubhouse will be put to a “suitable compatible use”.

The identity of the new owner or the final sale price has not been revealed.

Kay Griffiths, from Savills’ leisure team, said: “The conversion of the golf course back to farmland is a reflection of pressure that has been faced by some rural golf club owners who are subject to a lot of competition in a challenging economic climate.

“In the case of the NGCC it was concluded that, in light of declining income and continually-increasing costs, the golf and leisure business was no longer viable.”

When the news broke in November that the NGCC would be closing, captain Alec Thornber, of Attleborough, said that Mr and Mrs Barlow were retiring and were not willing to support the losses made year on year by the club.

He said: “It is a sad fact that nearly all golf clubs, under the present economic climate, and who are struggling to attract new members are now worth more as agricultural land.

“The NGCC has always been noted for being a friendly place where the members and staff have always been proud to be associated with it.

“It’s a club that has the potential to be the premier golf and leisure facility in Norfolk,” said Mr Thornber.

“It already boasts one of the best courses, leisure facilities and PGA professionals in East Anglia. Sadly, this potential will now never be realised.”

On the final day of play at NGCC on Christmas Eve, Mrs Barlow said: “We are very upset the club is closing.”

The club was built in 1993 and a health club was added in 1997. Since then the owners developed a detached manager’s house.

There was also a golf shop, day nursery, restaurant, function room and greenkeeper’s building, while the fitness club included three beauty rooms and two swimming pools.

Some 700 items from the former club will be auctioned on Saturday, February 18 at the site itself from 10am. Viewing will be held from 10am to 4.30pm the day before.

Items range from hand whisks to grass-mowers and furniture and will be sold by Irelands of Norwich.

sophie.wyllie@archant.co.uk

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