The decks are cleared for the All England Lawn Tennis Club (AELTC) to acquire the adjoining Wimbledon Park Golf Club land and expand the tennis facilities after the Golf Club members have voted to approve tennis club’s £65 million proposal.
The AELTC has welcomed the decision of the members of Wimbledon Park Golf Club to vote in favour of the AELTC’s offer to acquire the Club.
Pending court approval of the acquisition, the ownership of the Wimbledon Park Golf Club will transfer into the AELTC group of companies effective from December 21. This is an important and exciting step for the AELTC and future of The Championships. As per the terms of the acquisition, WPGC will continue to operate as an 18-hole golf course until 31 December 2021, with at least one further year as a 9- or 10-hole golf course on a rolling basis subject to a 12-month notice period, the AELTC has stated in a report on the official Wimbledon website.
AELTC will now begin to consider its plans for the land as part of a broader new (Wimbledon) Championships Master Plan. However, any future development proposals will protect and celebrate the heritage of the park, be guided by the Wimbledon landscape advisers who have closely studied the significance and history of the land, and importantly, be delivered in partnership with the local community. There never has been and never will be any plans to build multi-storey car parks and shopping villages or any other structures that would be completely out of character for the AELTC and The Championships, the Wimbledon bosses has clarified.
Philip Brook, Chairman of the AELTC, said “The decision of the Wimbledon Park Golf Club members to vote in favour of the acquisition offer is a hugely significant moment for the AELTC and The Championships. We have achieved what we set out to do many months ago in having certainty in our planning for the future. In many ways, it will be business as usual for the Wimbledon Park Golf Course during the next couple of years, but the AELTC will use this time to give careful consideration to our next steps.
“We have been open in our long-term ambition to move the Qualifying Competition from its current home in Roehampton to the AELTC Grounds as part of our mission to continue to maintain the position of The Championships as the pinnacle of the sport. Furthermore, we have the ambition to open the land up to increased public use in the future.
“We will work with the local authorities and other interested parties as these plans are developed and I would like to emphasise that we have no intention of applying for change of use, planning permission or other approval to use the land that would be completely out of character for the AELTC and The Championships.”
The decision came at a meeting in central London on Thursday, with 82% of voters agreeing to accept the AELTC bid. The golf club’s 750 members will each receive UK£85,000 each.
As part of the purchase of the 73-acre site, which neighbours the AELTC, will be used to expand the historic competition’s footprint.
The site, which lies across the road from the tournament’s main location, has been mentioned by AELTC chiefs as a possible venue for Wimbledon’s qualifying event. The iconic competition is currently the only one of the sport’s four Grand Slams not to hold its qualifiers on-site, with the precursor to the tournament being held nearby at Roehampton, Sportspromedia.co has reported.