A golf course which was costing Medway tax payers thousands of pounds each year is due to close on 14 April 2018.
Deangate Ridge sports complex made a total loss of more than £202,000 in 2016/17. Over the last seven years the complex has made a loss of more than £1.5million, with an annual average loss of £223,000.
On Wednesday, 28 March a Special Cabinet meeting was held to discuss and consider whether to permanently close Deangate Ridge golf course. Cabinet voted in favour of permanently closing Deangate Ridge golf course, but at a later date of 14 April 2018 to allow members of the club to compete in competitions which had already been scheduled.
Deangate Ridge sports complex also has an athletics track, bowls centre, football pitches and tennis courts, and these facilities will continue to remain open. At this stage no decision has been made about the potential use of the site and during this time the grounds will be maintained and secured.
Cllr Howard Doe, Portfolio Holder for Community Services at Medway Council, said: "This was by no means an easy decision to make and we understand this was not the result our golf members were hoping for. The reality is that we have to make some very difficult decisions due to the current financial situation we, and all local authorities across England, are faced with.
"Medway Council is responsible for running all government services, from education to highways, and the golf course was unfortunately costing our tax payers more than £200,000 each year. The golf club has less than 300 members, but we have to consider the quarter of a million people who live across Medway when making financial decisions and to ensure our budgets are prioritised for our most vulnerable residents who require support through vital services.
"I am pleased Cabinet also agreed to the proposal of council officers starting a feasibility study for a new state-of-the-art sports centre for residents living in and around Hoo. We recognise the importance of providing facilities that matter most to our residents and will be offering them the opportunity of letting the council know what sports facilities they would like in the peninsula."
Medway Council has received an expression of interest from a community group to provide sports, leisure and wellbeing facilities at Deangate Ridge. Cabinet unanimously agreed that the expression of interest should be reviewed by council officers, and a report prepared on the proposal and taken back to Cabinet to consider.