Lochend Golf club secures its future by landing grants totalling £15k

Members of Lochend are back playing at Craigentinny but the club had suffered a financial hitMembers of Lochend are back playing at Craigentinny but the club had suffered a financial hit
Members of Lochend are back playing at Craigentinny but the club had suffered a financial hit
Part of support for club comes from third sector fund

An Edinburgh golf club has staved off fears about the coronavirus crisis threatening its future by securing two grants worth £15,000.

Lochend Golf Club, which is based at Edinburgh Leisure-owned Craigentinny, received £10,000 from the Scottish Government through a fund to help leisure businesses with rates after being forced into temporary closure by the pandemic.

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It has also tapped into the Third Sector Resilience Fund, an emergency pot for charities, community groups, social enterprises and voluntary organisations working in Scotland, to get another £5,000.

“We never get grants as a golf club normally, so to get £15,000 in total is huge,” said club secretary Stuart McCallum.

“It has secured the club’s future. Without that £15,000, we’d probably have been facing a battle in October this year rather than December.

“Whether that would have jeopardised the future of the club, who knows, but it could certainly have gone that route.”

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Third Sector Resilience Fund was set up to support organisations that already deliver services and products but find themselves in financial difficulties directly as a result of Covid-19.

The primary intention of the fund is to help third sector organisations to stabilise and manage cash flows over this difficult period. A number of golf clubs in Scotland have submitted applications, but, helped by McCallum’s strong fund-raising background, Lochend looks to have been one of the first to benefit from it.

“The Third Sector Resilience Fund is specifically about organisations that have lost income,” he added in a Scottish Golf Covid-19 case study. “It isn’t about golf. It isn’t about sport. It’s about organisations that have lost income as a consequence of Covid-19.

“It hit at the worst time for us. Like most clubs, the annual membership was due. We’d just sent out memberships renewals, so the lockdown, came right in the middle of that.

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“Straight away, our cash flow was a major problem. We were down £30,000 as only half the members had paid, so that was a nightmare.

“We are not in charge of the course, so we haven’t lost anything like that. What we’ve lost since 17 March is all the income that comes through the club - the bar, the events.

“That just stopped overnight with very little warning. As a consequence, we furloughed the bar staff. But it meant our finances dropped to virtually a trickle.”

In the application for the third sector funding, whic is still available, Lochend officials worked out that the net loss over three months was £20,000.

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“That’s what we asked for and we got £5,000, which is great as that’s £5,000 we’d never have got otherwise,” said McCallum.

“Our application was about the immediate loss of the cash flow over that three-month period. It covered some of the fees and it certainly helped the cash flow as we still had some bills that had to be paid. It gave us a good injection.”