PLANS to build roughly 255 new homes in Widnes could secure the future of two local golf clubs.

Anwyl Homes Lancashire has submitted a planning application to redevelop around 26.5 acres of land at Widnes Golf Club, which celebrates its centenary in 2024.

If it’s given the go-ahead, proceeds from the sale of land from the Liverpool Road club will fund a new 9-hole course to replace the existing 18-hole site, as well as a new clubhouse and green-keeping facilities.

The plans also include investment from Widnes Golf Club into the 18-hole Rainhill Blundells Hill Golf Club in order to make improvements to those facilities. The combined membership would then have the potential to play at both courses.

Phil Morris, lifelong member and chairman of Widnes Golf Club, explained: “Finding ways to secure the club’s future and tackle our issue of dwindling membership has been on our agenda for the last 20 years and the problem is getting more pressing. He added: “Our members will still be able to enjoy all the benefits of an 18-hole course in the more rural and less constrained setting of Blundells Hill. We see it as a win-win situation and so do the overwhelming majority of our membership who have voted in favour of going down this route.”

The creation of the 9-hole facility at Widnes would fall into line with England Golf’s ‘Golf Express 9’ campaign – which is promoting the shorter form of the game in a bid to increase participation and club membership amongst junior and women players in particular.

Opened in 1994, Blundells Hill Golf Club is currently in owned by brothers Phil and Steve McKie and has around 400 playing members. Steve McKie said: “The move would secure the future of both clubs and would benefit everyone involved.”