A major new sport and leisure development is set to go before Councillors in Leeds this May.
Charity, The Parklane Foundation, has applied for planning as part of a £21m project at Leeds Golf Centre to create an extended clubhouse, 35 net zero eco lodges and improved golf courses.
If approved, around 150 construction jobs would be created along with 72 roles at the new expanded facility off Wike Ridge Lane in Shadwell - which could add around £3m to the Leeds economy according to project bosses.
The Parklane Foundation, the charitable arm of The Parklane Group who will finance the project, owns the golf centre and is championing the social benefits of the multi-million pound scheme – and the charity wants to offer access to the new facilities to inner city schools as part of wider plans for the project.
They say the new facilities would create a world-class golfing experience, including overnight stays - while offering more young people across Leeds from different backgrounds access to play the sport through the Foundation’s ongoing work at Leeds Golf Centre.
Most of the single storey eco lodges would be located around a new purpose-built lake and plans have been amended following feedback during the process which began in 2018. These lodges are designed to be net zero when it comes to carbon emissions, using renewable clean resource energy.
Hanif Malik OBE, Director of The Parklane Foundation, said “We want to create a place where everyone feels welcome, no matter what their background or ability, and develop a love of golf while positively benefitting the local economy.
“The mix of new facilities and eco lodges means the centre can generate more income, be self-sustaining and that in turns supports the charity's work there. As it says in the application, the challenges of the pandemic have put the finances of the wider Parklane Group under serious strain. Parklane Foundation relies on surplus revenues from the wider group to be able sustain and plug the losses made by the golf club, so Leeds Golf Centre needs to become financially viable through this exciting proposed development.
"We have received a lot of positive feedback and support from both members and partners which echoes the social and economic benefits of this scheme. It has the potential to further improve health and wellbeing, both physical and mental as well as making Leeds Golf Centre even more accessible for more communities across Leeds. To achieve this, we are looking to create a fund potentially worth £750,000 and involving the professional sports foundations from across the city.”
Naveen Ahmed, managing director of The Parklane Group, added: “Our revised plans are more sympathetic and in keeping with the natural surroundings and we have reduced the size of the clubhouse among other amendments after listening to feedback from local residents and stakeholders.
“These changes don’t detract from what could be an incredible addition to Leeds in terms of sport, leisure tourism and healthy outdoor activity. We’re passionate about Leeds and willing to see investment go in to projects we truly believe will make a difference – and we feel this will.
“Some amazing work takes place there and the Parklane Group wants to do more to support the Foundation, so to protect its current and future work this development is a key piece of the puzzle while growing the city’s sport and tourism offer.”