Enfield Council is seeking a business partner to rescue a golf course it claims is losing money and faces continued decline.

Whitewebbs Park Golf Course – a 103-acre stretch of green belt land at the borough’s northern border – is in need of “significant investment” to bring it up to modern standards, according to a council report.

The local authority wants to lease out the course to a commercial partner willing to improve the site’s facilities and boost its popularity.

A previous bid to find a partner to run the golf course failed in 2018 – but the council hopes changing the terms so the site is not solely restricted to golfing use would improve its chances of success.

The 18-hole course, on Whitewebbs Lane, was designed by five-times Open Championship winner John Henry Taylor and was opened in 1932.

It also features two club houses, a shop selling golfing equipment and a café.

But Whitewebbs faces stiff competition from 19 other nearby golf courses, and the council report says that “without significant investment, the site would continue to operate at a loss and continue to deteriorate”.

The decision to lease out the course was challenged by members of the Conservative group, who called it in to the council’s overview and scrutiny committee (OSC).

They claimed the cabinet report failed to go into any detail as to why the current business model is failing.

Most of the OSC discussion on Thursday (April 11) was held in private to avoid disclosing sensitive financial information – but at the end of the meeting councillors voted by five votes to two not to refer the decision back to cabinet.

It means the council will now press ahead with a marketing exercise in May or June to attract bids for the site.

The council’s report acknowledges “concern” from existing users if the new leaseholder decides to propose “alternative uses” to golfing provision.

It adds that consultation will be undertaken with “relevant community stakeholders”.