A 125-year lease for the site at Cleeve Hill Golf Club has been officially agreed between landowners, Tewkesbury Borough Council, and new tenant, the Cotswold Hub Co.
The lease runs in parallel with a licence from Cleeve Common Trust for the playing of golf on Cleeve Common. Both the lease and licence will take effect from 1 April 2021.
The council and the trust selected the Cotswold Hub Co. – founded by Sam Foyle and Nick Hovey – as its preferred bidder due to its remarkable proposal, which promises to deliver a place “where cyclists, walkers, golfers, riders, wildlife enthusiasts and historians all share a common interest… the unique Cleeve Hill.”
Whilst pledging to respect the spectacular surroundings, the Cotswold Hub Co. is proposing to completely transform the clubhouse facilities. The plans not only include a first-class golf club, but also wider amenities for the whole community, such as a new restaurant, café, accommodation lodges and a shared space where people can meet and work.
Tewkesbury Borough Council’s Chief Executive, Mike Dawson, said: “I am pleased to welcome Sam, Nick and all at the Cotswold Hub Co. as the new tenants of the site at Cleeve Hill Golf Club. We have worked hard to secure the future of this fantastic asset to the borough and are thrilled that our vision for this spectacular setting – to continue with golf, whist providing a range of facilities for the wider community – is shared by the new tenant. We, together with Cleeve Common Trust, look forward to a great partnership with the Cotswold Hub Co. for many years to come.”
Co-founder of the Cotswold Hub Co. Sam Foyle, said: “We are delighted to be a part of this unique venue, and aim to deliver a more sustainable future for the golf club whilst adding more facilities for all users of Cleeve Hill to enjoy. We look forward to working with Tewkesbury Borough Council and Cleeve Common Trust to ensure the Cotswold Hub has a very bright future.”
Co-founder of the Cotswold Hub Co. and Managing Director of MASHIE Golf, Nick Hovey, said: “Having already had several meetings and conversations with members, it’s evident to Sam and I how much passion there is for Cleeve Hill Golf Club and we are excited to be able to work with them all to help make it one of the pre-eminent golf clubs in the Cotswolds for many years to come.”
The Chair of Cleeve Common Trust, Phil Robson, said: “In the last couple of months, we have established a good rapport with the Cotswold Hub Co. These agreements allow golf to re-start promptly and we look forward to welcoming golfers back on to the Common to play this historic course laid out over its rugged unspoilt landscape with spectacular views. While it will take a few years for the Cotswold Hub Co. to bring to fruition the entirety of their vision for the Golf Club premises, our many recreational users will, in the meantime, benefit from a much-improved food and beverage offering, thus further enhancing the wellbeing gained from time spent on the Common.”
As the legal and planning process progresses, more detail (such as concept designs and timelines) will be published on tewkesbury.gov.uk.
To join Cleeve Hill Golf Club, book golf on the unique course, or find out more about the Cotswold Hub Co., visit cotswoldhub.co.uk
- The current tenant of Cleeve Hill Golf Club had given notice of its intention not to continue its lease this spring, and an independent expert report was commissioned on the future of golf at this site concluded that it wasn’t financially sustainable without significant investment and broadening the commercial offering available to the wider community.
- The difficult financial position facing local government meant the council’s Executive Committee reluctantly decided to end its licence to use Cleeve Common for the laying out of a golf course from 31 March 2021 and started its work to explore options for the clubhouse site. Following publication of the independent report, a number of parties approached the council expressing an interest in taking on a new lease for the club house (and a licence to play golf with Cleeve Common Trust), who proposed significant investment in the site and offered wider commercial facilities for the public. The council then initiated a formal bidding process.
- Cleeve Common is the largest common in Gloucestershire and includes the highest point in the Cotswolds at 330m. The Common is a major conservation area within the Cotswold National Landscape (formerly AONB) and nearly all of it is designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI). The land is in private ownership, but managed by the Trustees of a charity, Cleeve Common Trust, whose powers and responsibilities were established by an Act of Parliament in 1890. A set of Byelaws regulates what activities can and cannot take place on the Common.