BigShots Golf
Rebecca Wayman

Planning application underway for £12.5m Wallsend sport and leisure investment

Harrison Golf and Leisure, Newcastle Ltd has applied to North Tyneside Council for planning permission for a new £12.5m golf-based leisure facility at Wallsend Golf Club.

This will include the reconfiguration of the existing golf course and the development of a new driving range, said to be the first of its kind in the UK.

The ‘BigShots’ Golf concept, launched in Texas in 2017, is designed to deliver golf to a younger, more ‘diverse’ market by combing the extensive outdoor facilities of a traditional driving range with state-of-the-art virtual reality digital technology.

The advanced digital technology tracking equipment transposes players’ shots onto digital screens which can show a number of virtual reality games or a selection of world-renowned golf courses.

Phil Harrison, director of Harrison Golf and Leisure, Newcastle, said: “It’s a fantastic concept that is proving incredibly popular in the USA as it’s attractive to experienced golfers… but also to complete novices who can learn to play golf here whilst having fun.”

The application is for the construction of a two-storey building, designed by Newcastle-based Nicholson Nairn Architects.

The western end of the building contains the new Wallsend Golf Club locker rooms to provide natural linkage with the course.

The application also includes parking facilities, accessed from the adjacent West Street, and a new maintenance building for green-keeping equipment.

Chris Sanderson, director of STR Enterprises Ltd, who will manage the facility, added: “The BigShots facility will also be a major employer with around 47 full and part-time direct posts created in an area of relatively high employment whilst both the construction and operating phases will seek to source local suppliers wherever possible.

“It’s also a massive boom to the existing Wallsend Golf Club which will be radically reconfigured and improved to provide a first class golf facility that will rival any course in the region, with a superb club house.”

Upon successful application, the developers hope to commence construction later this autumn with the BigShots Golf facility opening in autumn 2020.

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