The £13m development of Wallsend Golf Centre is set to begin with plans winning unanimous consent from North Tyneside Council.
The development at Centurion Park, being undertaken by HG&L Newcastle Ltd, combines a new state-of-the-art driving range with a redesign of the golf course to enable six, 12 and 18 hole rounds looping back to the clubhouse. The plans also include investment in drainage, two water features and new planting to enhance biodiversity.
At the heart of the facility will be the £13m Golf Centre, combining the facilities of a traditional driving range with state-of-the-art virtual reality technology. Tracking equipment will transpose players’ shots onto digital screens, which can show a number of virtual reality games or a selection of world-renowned golf courses.
The two storey building has been designed by Newcastle-based Nicholson Nairn Architects and is to be built by Robertson Construction. It will have 54 bays as well as a sports bar and restaurant, pro shop, golf academy, kitchens, function/meeting rooms and associated offices. The building will also provide a new clubhouse for Wallsend Golf Club with locker rooms and changing facilities.
Phil Harrison, director of HG&L Newcastle Ltd, said: “We’re delighted to have planning consent for what we believe will be the finest leisure facility of its kind in the country. In addition to the new range, we have completely redesigned the golf course in-line with the latest thinking to reverse the decline of traditional golf clubs by attracting new members to new forms of the game. Our model, combining a state-of-the-art driving range with the redesigned course, will welcome a whole new range of players.”
Chris Sanderson, managing director of STR Enterprises Ltd, who will manage the facility, added, “Centurion Park is the perfect site for us to launch the new concept and the end result will be an innovative and professionally designed course with a truly superb facility in the Golf Centre, providing some 100 jobs. It will also create a £4m per year local supply chain when fully operational, in addition to the 60 jobs created by the construction period.
“The development not only secures the long term future of golf at Centurion Park, but will also become a major visitor attraction in its own right, drawing both golfers wanting year round facilities and families and young people new to the game. We’re very grateful to our team of professional advisers and Robertson Construction, who have so strongly supported the project. We now look forward to delivering a great new venue for the benefit of golfers and the wider community in North Tyneside and beyond.”