EXCLUSIVE: By Martin Walker
The troubled Woodham Golf Club has been sold, Aycliffe Today has learned this morning.
Woodham closed last November after mounting financial problems took their toll and it was plunged into administration by its Irish owners, Washington Developments Ltd.
In March, estate agents Savills started marketing the freehold of the 18-hole golf course on behalf of administrators.
Savills today confirmed they are “close to exchanging contracts” with the buyer, who we understand is a North-East property developer which already has a golf course in the region.
Savills couldn’t reveal any other details, but rumours have reached Aycliffe Today that the buyer could be Wynyard Estates, owned by Geordie tycoon and former Newcastle United chairman Sir John Hall.
Although no guide price was disclosed, we understand the course has been sold for in excess of £2m.
Woodham’s par-73 course is positioned within a 214 acre (87 hectare) site and includes woodland and open land, a 9,367 sq ft (867 sq m) clubhouse, 2,738 sq ft (245 sq m) greenkeeper’s building, practice range and short game practice area.
There is also planning permission in place for the development of 50 executive homes, a new golf clubhouse and a 75-bed hotel with conference and spa facilities.
Washington Developments had hoped the £32.1m development would rejuvenate the course after spending five years securing the planning, but struggled to raise enough cash to fund it.
It was expected to create at least 150 jobs in its construction and 70 permanent positions.
Woodham Golf Course was originally developed and first opened in 1981, designed by the highly-respected J Hamilton Stutt, a founding member of The British Association of Golf Course Architects.