Golf club plan into the rough at Stormont

Golf update
Golf update

A £350,000 grant to fund Lurgan Golf Club’s new academy is under scrutiny after a Stormont official, who is a member of the club, failed to declare an interest in the project.

The grant was issued by the Department of Social Development who employ the Lurgan Golf Club member.

Having been flagged up by TUV’s Jim Allister, the department said a review of the case will be independently verified to ensure that all funding decisions were in order.

While Lurgan Golf Club say they cannot comment on DSD rules or procedures, they provided the following statement: “Lurgan Golf Club applied for DSD funding in April 2012 and since July 2013 has worked with one of its members in developing a successful programme to promote the game of golf across the Lurgan and Brownlow Neighbourhood Renewal areas.

“The member involved is only a playing member and has never held any position within the club either past or present.

“The purpose of the DSD funding is to help improve social, community and physical renewal in the Lurgan Neighbourhood Renewal area.

“This project from its inception has had the full support of the Local Neighbourhood Renewal Partnership and all local political parties to provide diversionary activities for young people in the area.

“Since the facility was opened seven local schools have expressed interest in adding golf to their sports curriculum. The club is also working with the Trust in promoting positive mental health and one group has started a series of free lessons using the facility. The facility will play a major role in providing activities for those who might, for whatever reasons, find themselves disengaged.

“DSD’s contract for funding clearly sets out the club’s project targets, output measures and strict monitoring conditions. Lurgan Golf Club is and will remain fully compliant.”