Buyer found for Woodham Golf and Country Club in Newton Aycliffe

Hall Construction hopes to reopen Woodham Golf and Country Club next month

Hall Construction hopes to reopen Woodham Golf and Country Club next month

First published in News

A GOLF club that was forced to close last year owing to financial problems is expected to re-open next month with new owners at the helm.

Woodham Golf and Country Club, near Newton Aycliffe, County Durham, closed last November, shattering its Irish owner’ dream of creating a £32m housing and leisure development on the site.

It was put up for sale by Savills in February and today (Thursday, June 5) Hall Construction, a Newton Aycliffe-based building and civil engineering firm, confirmed it had bought the club.

The company, which has an office across the road from the course, is run by brothers Stephen and Neville Hall, who told The Northern Echo they were committed to re-establishing it as a golfing destination.

Stephen Hall said: “We have been pursuing the club for around six months and are delighted to have secured it.

“We want to maintain it as a golf club. We have lived in the Newton Aycliffe area all of our lives and we know it is a great asset to the town.”

Mr Hall said it was hoped the club would reopen in early July, with many ex members of staff, including golf professional Ernie Wilson, already back on board.

As well as the 18-hole golf course and other facilities, the site comes with planning permission for 50 executive homes, a new club house and a 75-bedroom hotel with conference and spa facilities.

Former owner Washington Developments spent five years securing planning permission for the development and described the economic climate that forced the club into administration as a “bitter blow.”

As a builder, Hall Construction is well placed to deliver the scheme but Mr Hall said it was too soon to say whether the company would pursue the opportunity.

“It is difficult to comment as we haven’t had much of an opportunity to look at the plans yet but it is definitely something we want to explore,” he said.

“At the moment we are more concerned about reopening the golf club and boosting membership.”

Councillor John Clare, deputy leader of Great Aycliffe Town Council, said: “I am pleased it is a local business and, if they are committed to restoring the golf course, I welcome the news.”

Comments (3)

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7:28am Fri 6 Jun 14

John Justice says...

This is good news for Newton Aycliffe and Golf in particular. It may be questionable if another Hotel is needed for the area but if one is built it will be a massive attraction in golfing terms. Hotels with 18 hole golf courses seem to be an attractive proposition for recreational golfers and this if built will help support local golf and local business while providing healthy competition for other local hotels. A lot of money will need to be spent on improving aspects of the course but eventually many will make their way to play golf at Woodham. It is good to see many of the previous staff returning along with Golf Pro Ernie Wilson.
This is good news for Newton Aycliffe and Golf in particular. It may be questionable if another Hotel is needed for the area but if one is built it will be a massive attraction in golfing terms. Hotels with 18 hole golf courses seem to be an attractive proposition for recreational golfers and this if built will help support local golf and local business while providing healthy competition for other local hotels. A lot of money will need to be spent on improving aspects of the course but eventually many will make their way to play golf at Woodham. It is good to see many of the previous staff returning along with Golf Pro Ernie Wilson. John Justice
  • Score: 2

1:53pm Fri 6 Jun 14

Crocher says...

You must be the only one happy to see Ernie Wilson back at Woodham ! While its good news to see the course reopen is it another false dawn to many times before big plans, its simple put the course right everything else will follow, no doubt Ernie will have grand opening sale !!!
You must be the only one happy to see Ernie Wilson back at Woodham ! While its good news to see the course reopen is it another false dawn to many times before big plans, its simple put the course right everything else will follow, no doubt Ernie will have grand opening sale !!! Crocher
  • Score: 4

9:30pm Fri 6 Jun 14

Peter722 says...

Crocher wrote:
You must be the only one happy to see Ernie Wilson back at Woodham ! While its good news to see the course reopen is it another false dawn to many times before big plans, its simple put the course right everything else will follow, no doubt Ernie will have grand opening sale !!!
As the last Captain of Woodham I am delighted with this news. The fact that Hall Construction are from Newton Aycliffe and have a stated desire to get the golf course right will be greeted with a huge sigh of relief by all former members. I hope the Halls appoint a top calibre individual to provide leadership and management as this was sadly missing under the previous owners. I look forward to working with the new owners to make Woodham the top quality course it has the potential to become. The news that Ernie Wilson is to return is not what most former members wanted to hear following his very shoddy treatment following the club going into administration. I wish the Halls every success at Woodham.
[quote][p][bold]Crocher[/bold] wrote: You must be the only one happy to see Ernie Wilson back at Woodham ! While its good news to see the course reopen is it another false dawn to many times before big plans, its simple put the course right everything else will follow, no doubt Ernie will have grand opening sale !!![/p][/quote]As the last Captain of Woodham I am delighted with this news. The fact that Hall Construction are from Newton Aycliffe and have a stated desire to get the golf course right will be greeted with a huge sigh of relief by all former members. I hope the Halls appoint a top calibre individual to provide leadership and management as this was sadly missing under the previous owners. I look forward to working with the new owners to make Woodham the top quality course it has the potential to become. The news that Ernie Wilson is to return is not what most former members wanted to hear following his very shoddy treatment following the club going into administration. I wish the Halls every success at Woodham. Peter722
  • Score: 3

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