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Council approves £50k contribution to help host major professional golf tournament in Porthcawl

10 Feb 2022 3 minute read
Bridgend County Borough Council has agreed to contribute funding towards the hosting of the Senior Open Championship 2023 at Royal Porthcawl. Pic: Pixabay. Free

Ted Peskett, local democracy reporter 

A council has agreed to contribute £50,000 of public money to help host a major professional golf tournament.

Bridgend County Borough Council’s (BCBC) cabinet agreed for a funding contribution and officer support to be made for the Senior Open Championship to be held at the Royal Porthcawl in July 2023.

The county borough was the first to host a golf major in Wales when it hosted the Senior Open Championship in 2014, with the event returning in 2017.

Cabinet members and officers were keen to point out at a Cabinet meeting on Tuesday, February 8, that they believe the tournament, which is sponsored by Rolex and attracts thousands of spectators, could bring huge investment in the area.

Corporate director of communities at BCBC, Janine Nightingale described the events as attracting a “worldwide audience” and having a “very high profile”.

Royal Porthcawl Golf Club, Porthcawl, where the Senior Golf Championship 2023 is set to be held. Pic: Google Maps.

Cabinet member, Cllr Charles Smith said: “The significance of this event to Porthcawl, the county [borough] of Bridgend and indeed the nation of Wales cannot be exaggerated and our £50,000 investment will have a massive return in terms of millions and millions of viewers all around the world.

“The previous two events of this sort show that we have a track record and it is great that the golfing authorities have come back to Porthcawl and I am hoping that we involve the community.

“We do have a coastal partnership which hasn’t met as regularly as it used to before Covid, but in 2023 we will revive [those] partnership meetings to make sure that we can get the best outcomes for the community from the event.

“We want to be able to use any spin-offs from our investment, such as complimentary tickets for the event.

“I would like to see those especially directed towards young people in Porthcawl and neighbouring schools who are interested in golf and I am sure that colleagues will support that idea.”

‘Disadvantaged community members’

Council leader Huw David echoed Cllr Smith’s comments, saying: “We want people to have that opportunity, particularly some of our more disadvantaged community members.”

The Senior Open Championship is a golf tournament for players aged 50 and over that attracts international TV coverage and thousands of spectators.

According to a report by the corporate director of communities, the tournament had about 43,000 people in attendance – including spectators, officials, players and caddies.

The £50,000 that the council will contribute towards the set up and operational costs of the tournament will be paid from the Public Realm Fund.

Payment of the fund will be made in two installments – the first £25,000 being due on January 1, 2023 and the second being due on March 31, 2023.

The Welsh Government is supporting the delivery of the three Senior Open
Championships between 2014 and 2024 with a grant of £5m.

BCBC’s contribution to the tournament will also include its communities directorate staff resources supporting the championship’s liaison group.

The Senior Open Championship 2023 will be held from July 27 to 30.

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