Knowsley keeps golf course bidders under wraps

Knowsley Council has whittled the number of interested developers down to three as it continues its search for a partner to redevelop Bowring Park golf course in Huyton.

The names of the interested organisations wanting to manage, develop, and operate the 129-acre site in partnership with the council were not disclosed.

Knowsley Council said the selection of a preferred partner will be subject to an independent board, which will consist of representatives from the council, Bowring Park Golf Course, Friends of Bowring Park, NHS Knowsley and representatives from the private sector and voluntary and community sector.

The council added that the Friends of Bowring Park, a group formed to protect the park, has been involved in discussions and interviews with the interested partners.

The brief is to redevelop the car park, reception area, changing accommodation and club house and several outlying buildings, as well as the golf course.

The council said "a full EU tendering process is still being followed and a number of requirements need to be completed before the tendering process can be progressed".

This includes the establishment of the independent board and a public consultation exercise, both of which the council said are ongoing and the initial consultation will be completed by mid-July this year. The council added that the public survey "is to ensure stakeholder views are incorporated in any future plans".

The council also said it is not yet known if planning permission will be required as "a preferred partner has not been selected and a detailed scheme has not been agreed" and funding for the scheme "is dependent on selection of a partner".

Speaking about the public survey, Cllr Eddie Connor, cabinet member for leisure, community and culture at Knowsley Council, said: "We are committed to developing and improving facilities in Knowsley. By working with a partner with a successful track record in managing facilities of this nature, we can provide enhanced amenities for residents and visitors to enjoy.

"I would encourage as many people as possible to take part in the consultation and help shape future plans for Bowring Park and Golf Course's development."

Originally forming the heart of the ancient Roby Hall Estate, Bowring Park is the oldest public park in Knowsley.

Connor said the public survey is available at the golf course reception or any leisure centre across the borough. The survey can also be completed online by visiting the council's website or people can request a survey by calling 0151 443 3538. Closing date for completed surveys is Friday 16 July.

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