Tucked away in the leafy suburban haven of Allerton, South Liverpool, sits Allerton Manor, an estate steeped in local history and brimming with promise. Home to Allerton Park Municipal golf course, a well-loved local treasure of well-trodden fairways, the boyhood playground of many aspiring golfers and even the site of a photo shoot for four floppy-haired local lads in the swinging (no pun intended) sixties.
Fallen past its prime after many years of under-investment and neglect, Allerton Park suffered as local competitors surged forward, developing facilities and hospitality venues which left Allerton seemingly in the history of yester-year. The Clubhouse sat woefully unloved, the condition of the course began to slip, and apart from loyal season ticket holders, Allerton Park failed to ignite the interest of the booming locale of South Liverpool.
The decision by Liverpool City Council to divest its loss-making operational assets, created an exciting golf and leisure opportunity with the ability to breathe life back into the city’s municipal golf courses. Green Circle Estates, part of the team of masterminds behind Formby Hall Golf Resort and Spa, were enlisted to become the city’s official golf operating partner, and a reinvention process began. Reborn Allerton Manor Golf Club in November 2015, the new operators set about a transformation of the club and its facilities in coalition with the City Council. They did so with a clear mission in mind; providing an accessible and affordable golf offering true to the course’s Pay and Play roots but with the kind of facilities and standards expected at a private members’ golf club.
A program of significant investment was launched across the estate in an effort to bring this vision to reality. The first phase of developments completed in September 2015, saw the Grade II listed Clubhouse totally reimagined, instating a ground floor restaurant, The Old Stables. A contemporary casual dining concept, with sky lights beaming daylight into the airy and stylish dining room, The Old Stables offers a delicious menu of home comfort style dishes, locally sourced and lovingly prepared by an experienced kitchen team. Open to all, The Old Stables has provided destination dining in the heart of South Liverpool, with something for everyone- whether it’s a bacon butty after 18 holes, a leisurely brunch, date night or a cracking Sunday Roast with the family. With a terrace just screaming out for a cold beer in the sunshine (when we get some!), The Old Stables has that ‘Wow Factor’ that residents of South Liverpool and beyond have been waiting for.
In November 2016, long overdue works began on the parkland course itself; improving tees, greens and fairways and investing heavily in state of the art TORO greenkeeping machinery, famed as the ‘Ferrari’ of golf equipment and used across championship courses around the world. Green Circle Estates enlisted the expertise of IDG (International Design Group), PGA affiliated Golf Architects with a résumé that comprises numerous first class golf courses around the world, including the golfing hubs of Dubai, USA and Asia. Allerton Manor is the first municipal golf course in the UK to undergo this kind of high level refurbishment, and Spring 2017 will see completion of the first phase of works to include new championship tees, reshaping of fairways and two new revetted bunkers either side of the signature 8th green. Facilities were also upgraded, to include stylish new changing facilities and washrooms. Ideal for everyone from beginners right through to more experienced golfers, those looking for a great away day with friends or clients, or for golfing events across the golf society and corporate markets, the developments at Allerton Manor Golf Club have positioned it as a fantastic golfing location, just 15 minutes from Liverpool City Centre.
So what next for the estate that has already undergone such a transformation? The vision doesn’t end there.
The Old Stables will double in size in Spring 2017, with the opening of a luxury private function space, bar, lounge and terrace on its first floor. Perfect for weddings, christenings and celebrations of every kind, the as yet unnamed space will be a stylish option for party planners across Merseyside- with an exclusive entrance/exit, high end design concept and a winding driveway which will leave visitors suitably impressed. Plans for an elevated terrace overlooking the 18th green, will be the perfect spot to take in a beautiful South Liverpudlian sunset over a chilled glass of wine.
Next will come the restoration of the Grade II listed Manor House, once the 19th Century home of the affluent Fletcher family, famed locally for their successes in the shipping industries. Following years of dilapidation, and a devastating fire in 1944, this stunning structure will certainly be lost forever without the proposed investment in the property. Maintaining the beautiful Gothic exterior colonnades, the Manor House will be reinvented as a boutique hotel and wedding venue, with a luxury spa nestled in its basement which boasts original vaulted ceilings and memories of 19th century grandeur.
Further improvement works will take place on the golf course too, with plans coming this winter to extend it to become a lengthened Par 72 Championship course. The existing Academy course will also be remodelled to create a more challenging 9-Hole Par 3 course, recreating signature holes from esteemed courses around the world. Plans are in motion to bring an Adventure Golf course to the site, uniting golf, leisure and dining to create a destination leisure resort for men, women and families of all ages to enjoy.
Holding fast to the ethos that sits at the heart of Allerton Manor, both its present-day manifestation and plans to continue the development of the estate maintain a focus on providing an affordable and accessible, yet aspirational venue for golfers and the local community alike. With the luxe finish and impeccable standards of a private Members’ club. At Allerton Manor, there really is something for everyone. EJ