Fylde chases huge £77m Open target

Zoe Robertson of the Dalmeny Hotel, St Annes, celebrating the return of the Open Golf

Zoe Robertson of the Dalmeny Hotel, St Annes, celebrating the return of the Open Golf

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THE multi-million pound benefit a prestigious golf tournament could have on the Fylde has been revealed, as businesses gear-up for their biggest week in a decade.

With just months to go before the Open Golf tournament takes over Royal Lytham and St Annes, its organisers have revealed this year’s tournament hosts – Royal St George’s in Sandwich, Kent – raked in a staggering £77m for the area.

And businesses and council leaders are in no doubt about the enormous impact the tournament will have for the Fylde, with hundreds of residents renting out their homes, hotel rooms being redecorated and train stations and town centres being revamped.

The Dalmeny Hotel, St Annes, is almost fully-booked and expects to host some of golf’s biggest names.

Stuart Robertson, from the hotel, said: “It’s so important to us, the Open is a tremendous revenue generator. We wish we could have it every year. We only deal with one contractor who take on 80 per cent of our rooms, they come and inspect the rooms and we agree to renovate them if required to bring them up to the standard.”

Local firm JGL are the Open’s official letting agent and currently have around 350 properties on their books for the tournament, with homes and apartments fetching from £2,000 to £24,000.

Director Clementine Lever said: “The local community is really behind the Open, everyone seems to want to let their houses. It’s going to be such a positive thing.”

As part of its preparations for the Open, Fylde Council has regenerated parts of St Annes and Lytham squares, and also plans to improve Lytham, St Annes and Ansdell train stations.

A council spokesman said: “We’re very pleased Sandwich did well out of the Open this year, it’s always of benefit to Fylde when it visits and we’re looking forward to next year’s Championship. Local businesses should benefit through extra visits to pubs, shops, hotels, restaurants and other attractions.”

The economic impact of this year’s tournament for Kent was £24.1m, with a tourism marketing benefit of £52.6m.

More than 1,000 marshals will be recruited from local golf clubs, as well as 100 voluntary scorers.

There will be around 300 scoreboard operators and carriers, with 200 litter pickers employed from local schools.

It is expected around 1,500 catering staff will be employed.