Local authorities including Sefton Council, police and rail companies in the North West of England have pledged to work together to support The Open as a world class sporting event in the region.
New agreements signed today enable enhanced forward planning and the development of shared expertise in hosting The Open, which is organised by The R&A.
Golf’s oldest championship returns to Royal Birkdale in 2017, the third time in a five–year period it will have been held in the region after Royal Lytham & St Annes in 2012 and Royal Liverpool in 2014. The three venues have hosted The Open on more than 30 occasions and last year more than 200,000 spectators attended at Hoylake.
Johnnie Cole-Hamilton, The R&A’s Executive Director – Championships, said, “The Open shares a rich heritage with the great links courses on England’s golf coast and we are delighted to receive this commitment from the organisations that support us in delivering the Championship. We look forward to working closely with them in future to successfully deliver The Open.”
Independent event impact research conducted by the Sport Industry Research Centre at Sheffield Hallam University indicates a three-venue rotation of The Open in the North West delivers an economic benefit of more than £200million across the three occasions the Championship is staged.
Cllr Ian Moncur, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing, speaking on behalf of the local authorities, police and rail companies supporting the Championship, said, “The Open delivers a regular economic boost to the region and leaves a legacy that is vital for those in our communities who depend for their livelihoods on a thriving golf tourism sector. We are committing to sharing expertise and resources within existing budgets and across traditional local authority boundaries to ensure that the North West continues to be attractive to one of the world’s greatest sporting events.”
“It falls to our council to host the first Open to benefit from our new co-operation when the Championship returns to Royal Birkdale in 2017 and I very much look forward to using our shared resources to make the most of the opportunities that only The Open brings to the communities we serve.”
The R&A regularly stages amateur championships and international matches in the region. Last month, The Boys Amateur Championship was played at Royal Birkdale and Southport & Ainsdale and later this week (12 and 13 September 2015) the Walker Cup match between Great Britain and Ireland and the United States of America takes place at Royal Lytham & St Annes.
There are nine signatories to the new Memorandum of Understanding on hosting The Open in the North West in addition to The R&A, the Borough Councils of Fylde, Sefton and Wirral, Lancashire County Council, Merseyside Police and Lancashire Constabulary, Merseytravel, Merseyrail and Northern Rail.
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