Posted by: westlancashirerecord | August 23, 2018

Was DCT Leisure Services Ltd Skating On Thin Ice?

Readers will know of the “merry-go-round” connecting Beacon Park Golf Course, WLBC, West Lancashire Leisure Trust, DCT Leisure Limited, Serco Leisure Operating Limited, and Oakland Golf and Leisure Limited, to which we can now add Altrincham Leisure Limited (Formerly Altrincham Ice Rink (Trafford) Limited).

Ongoing investigations into the historical murky waters of how the Beacon Park Golf Course became the destination of so much landfill continue to throw up more questions than answers. Through the common directorships of Mark Prosser for DCT Leisure Limited and Altrincham Leisure Ltd the Beacon Park Golf course was the registered address for both companies .

As we have reported, the official background is that at its meeting on 25th January 2000 the WLDC “Transportation and Amenities Committee authorised the Director of Development and Amenities to select a private sector partner, and to negotiate and enter into a contractual arrangement for the provision of golfing services at Beacon Country Park. This was undertaken and DCT Leisure was chosen. A lease was agreed which included a 5 year partnership for the Golf Course, Driving Range, Pro Shop and Beacon Centre Catering with DCT having responsibility for the delivery of these services and capital investment improvements. The terms also included an obligation for DCT to meet the requirements of a management agreement and an option for a renewal for a further period of 5 years.

“DCT Leisure commenced the partnership at the Beacon on 24th July 2000. Capital investment in the course and centre over the first 5 years has totalled approximately £120,000. The District Council has relinquished all operating costs for the facilities, with the exception of structural maintenance to the buildings, and presently receives fees from DCT Leisure of approximately £25,000 per annum. This contrasts with an operating deficit of £106,000 in the year prior to DCT Leisure being engaged”. The WLBC bean counters were happy.

What comes to light is the fact of DCT Leisure Limited having an “Ultimate parent company”, as stated in official company notes “The ultimate parent company throughout the current and previous year was Altrincham Leisure Limited (formerly Altrincham Ice Rink (Trafford) Limited. The ultimate controlling party is considered to be Mr and Mrs D C Thompson as trustees of a settlement of which M Visinoni is principal beneficiary”. The notes go on to state “Going Concern” The company’s [DCT Leisure Ltd] ability to continue as a going concern is dependent on the continued support of its ultimate parent company Altrincham Leisure Limited (formerly Altrincham Ice Rink (Trafford) Limited. Altrincham Leisure Limited has no intention of withdrawing its support from the company in the future”. Did WLBC know this?

Moving on, it became clear DCT Leisure Limited faced financial difficulties. Perhaps Altrincham Leisure Limited did too? Mark Orde Prosser, the operator of the BPGC lease has also been a director of Altrincham Leisure Limited . The original Altrincham Ice Rink was situated on Devonshire Road. Opened in 1960, the rink was home to the Altrincham Aces and original Trafford Metros Ice Hockey teams, as well as figure and speed skaters. The rink was closed in March 2003, after 43 years, when it was sold by the owners to a property developer. A housing estate now stands on the site of the former rink.

67. BEACON GOLF COURSE
COUNCIL HELD: 14 DECEMBER 2011
Consideration was given to the report of the Assistant Director Community Services, as contained on pages 503 to 517 of the Book of Reports, which detailed the decision of Cabinet on 15 November 2011 in relation to DCT Leisure Ltd’s intention to relinquish its lease of Beacon Park Golf Course and provided an update. RESOLVED: That the following decision of Cabinet on 15 November 2011 (Minute 87), be endorsed: “A. That the Assistant Director Community Services, in consultation with the Leader and relevant portfolio holder, be authorised to develop and implement proposals for the long term operation of the Beacon Park Golf Course and negotiate and conclude all arrangements (to include the obtaining of all necessary consents, providing for all requisite notices and the entering into all necessary licences, leases and agreements/documentation) to give effect to that proposal.

B. That in addition to the delegation at A. above the Assistant Director Community Services, in consultation with the Leader and relevant portfolio holder, be authorised to develop and implement proposals for the interim operation of the Beacon Park Golf Course and negotiate and conclude all arrangements (to include the obtaining of all necessary consents, providing for all requisite notices and the entering into all necessary licences, leases and agreements/documentation) to give effect to that proposal.

C. That there be an exemption from the requirement to seek quotations/tenders (Contract Procedure Rules 6 and 7) to allow the arrangements to be put in place in accordance with A. and/or B. above for the reasons set out in the report”.

Coincidental or not, but Altrincham Leisure Limited was dissolved on 28 March 2013 and DCT Leisure Ltd was dissolved on 9 August 2013. All the above information is available via Companies House and/or West Lancashire Borough Council.


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