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Riddell’s Bay golf club to shut doors

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Cash-strapped Riddell's Bay Golf and Country Club is to close after nearly a century, it was revealed yesterday.

Professional services firm PwC, who have been appointed as liquidators, said the club had “limited and insufficient cash” to meet operational costs and “that there is no prospect of the necessary funding becoming available in the immediate future”.

A spokeswoman for PwC said: “In these circumstances, they regretfully have reached the view that there is no alternative but to immediately cease operations of Riddell's Bay Golf and Country Club for the foreseeable future.”

It is understood the staff at the Warwick club — said by a member to number about 30 — were told the grim news at a meeting yesterday.

Members were told to clear out their lockers yesterday, while pre-booked parties and events at the clubhouse have been cancelled.

Locks have been changed and a sign put up saying that the course was now closed.

PwC added that they would be speaking to employees, creditors and club members.

Memberships, due to expire at the end of this month, will not be renewed.

Annette Beveridge, the financial controller at the club, did not return calls from The Royal Gazette yesterday.

PwC's Alison Tomb and Simon Conway were appointed to liquidate the club after the board of directors lodged a petition with the Bermuda Supreme Court.

The PwC spokeswoman said: “In their petition, the board indicated that the company had been struggling financially for some years and that their efforts to seek a buyer or investor had not been successful.

“Furthermore, given the company's operating losses and its inability to meet its debts as they fell due, the board considered that they had no alternative but to seek the appointment of provisional liquidators.”

She added: “Over the next few weeks, the provisional liquidators will assess the situation and the most appropriate strategy to generate value to enable the company's creditors to be paid.”

One longstanding member at the club, which had been in operation since 1922, said: “It's like a lot of golf courses — they're suffering and it's just a question of cash flow from operations. The balance sheet is all right because they have valuable property there.”

The source added that members “won't be delighted” at the closure. But he said: “Hopefully it's not a permanent thing and someone will see the value of the club and open it again.”

The club is the second course on the island to close in recent times.

St George's golf course was shut by its board of trustees in July 2008 after it was projected to lose more than $600,000 for the year ending March 2009.

It briefly reopened as a public golf course in 2011 before being allowed to fall into disuse again.

Closing down: Riddell's Bay Golf and Country Club
Sign of the times: the golf course hosted a junior tournament on its last day

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Published April 01, 2016 at 9:00 am (Updated April 01, 2016 at 4:23 pm)

Riddell’s Bay golf club to shut doors

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