Massive boost for Birmingham golf

By on 30/01/2012 in News

Public golf in Birmingham is set for a £multi-million boost after Mytime Active secured a contract to modernise and manage the City Council's seven courses.

And Cabinet Member for Leisure, Sport and Culture, Cllr Martin Mullaney, believes the 50-year deal has effectively saved “pay and play” golf across the city.

Birmingham City Council launched a search for an external operator to manage and modernise the golf courses in March 2010 and Mytime Active beat off competition from across Europe.

The London-based social enterprise will invest in facilities and planned improvements include:

  • New clubhouse at Pype Hayes
  • New driving range at Hatchford Brook
  • New club house at Harborne
  • Refurbished club house at Boldmere

Cllr Mullaney said: “When I became Cabinet Member in 2009 there was a very real fear that one or more of our courses might have to close and I was determined to avoid that.

“Now, with this groundbreaking deal, we have not only safeguarded public golf for future generations, we have transformed a service that was running at a loss into one that is set for significant investment.

“Mytime Active has a great track record of managing public golf services in partnership with local authorities and exciting plans to increase participation across the seven courses in Birmingham.”

Mytime Active Chief Executive Steve Price said, “We're delighted to have been awarded the contract to manage Birmingham's golf courses and are very much looking forward to meeting staff and customers to discuss the priorities for improvement.

“We're very proud of our track record of investing in quality which leads to improved customer satisfaction, and greater up-take, which we will apply to successfully sustain Birmingham's courses.

“As a social enterprise we're passionate about the benefits to health of an active lifestyle, and will be looking to increase participation especially with young people, and schools.”

Since Mytime Active was formed in 2004 the range of managed services has grown to include 10 golf centres making the charitable trust one of the leading public golf service managers in the country. Over £15m has been re-invested into improvements including new and improved club houses, driving ranges, changing facilities, pro-shops, and new grounds maintenance equipment to provide enhanced playing conditions.


  • In January 2010, the Council undertook a market consultation exercise to gauge whether there was external interest in running the golf service.  The result was that there was interest from the market and a tendering competition was then launched using the Competitive Dialogue procedure. The business case recommending the procurement of an external operator to manage and modernise the golf courses, was approved by Cabinet on 29th March 2010.
  • The contract was publicly advertised in the Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU), on the Council's website and in the journal Leisure Opportunities with a closing date for expressions of interest of 13th October 2010
  • In response to the advertisements, 21 organisations expressed an interest and were given further information.  All were requested to complete a questionnaire to establish their suitability to perform the contract.  Seven organisations responded as requested and 14 effectively withdrew themselves at this stage by not returning the questionnaire.
  • Four organisations were invited to submit a response to the Invitation to Participate in Dialogue Document.
  • Three organisations were invited to continue dialogue and submit final tenders.
  • Trade Unions have been engaged and consulted throughout this project and have played an active role within the evaluation process by observing scoring meetings and attending bidder dialogue meetings/presentations.
  • Tenders received were evaluated using a quality / price balance in accordance with a pre-determined evaluation model.  The quality element accounted for 40% and price (financial/commercial) 60%.  The quality / price balance was established having due regard to the Corporate document “Advice and Guidance on Evaluating Tenders on Quality and Price” which considers the complexity of the services to be provided and the degree of detail contained in the contract specification. The quality /price calculation takes account of the complexity of the service and the extent to which outcomes can be specified and the relationship with service users;
  • The evaluation process resulted in comparative quality and price scores for each tenderer.  The maximum quality score was awarded to the bid that demonstrated the highest quality.  Similarly the maximum price score was awarded to the bid that offered the most advantageous financial/commercial proposal, in line with the evaluation criteria above. Other tenderers were scored in proportion to the maximum scores.
  • A financial reference was taken up for each tenderer.   The financial reference was in the form of a letter and reply sheet to each tenderer's bank requesting the bank's view on the financial standing of their client.
  • The assets will remain the property of Birmingham City Council.  The provider will occupy the buildings/courses under a lease of each golf course and will be required to upgrade the facilities and maintain them to the agreed standards under a service agreement which includes key performance measures.
  • Mytime Active has given an assurance there will be no increase on standard fees in the first full year of operations.
  • ENDS

For more information contact Geoff Coleman on 0121 303 3501

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