BUSINESS leaders in St Annes are hoping to persuade the organisers of next year’s Open Golf Championship to chip in and help boost the town’s economy.
St Annes Chamber of Trade has been among representatives in talks with the R&A – Royal and Ancient – urging it to consider introducing admission ticket flexibility.
Season and daily tickets permit the holder only one entry to the event per day with visitors not allowed to leave and return on the same day.
Arnold Sumner, co-ordinator of St Annes Chamber of Trade said: “Some people, such as wives, or others, might like to call into St Annes during the day. But the tickets they have at the moment don’t allow them to leave and go back into the golf again.”
Chairman John Moxham said: “We are trying to persuade the R&A – it’s an ongoing battle. The people who organised the ladies’ Open last year were so much more user friendly.”
He explained: “If you leave you can’t get back in. There have been a lot of negotiations with the R&A and we are hoping we are going to have some success. It might be that we will be able to do it on some of the days.
“The R&A have said they are considering it. We are hoping a working compromise can be reached.”
Unlike most other Open courses Royal Lytham has a more urban setting and the business community is keen to tap into the spending power of the 200,000 visitors to the area for the four-day championship.
“We have got to try to ensure they come back on a more regular basis than they have in the past,” said Mr Moxham. He also asked the thousands heading away from the course each day to stagger their journeys.
“I would encourage them not to leave all at once. We are saying, if you come into town, visit a restaurant and leave a bit later, you will have a more relaxed and safer journey.”
Meanwhile, the £3,000 in grant aid available to businesses applying to the “Open For All” scheme has been a big success. He said: “Within the first 10 days I think we had 30 applicants and they will be decided probably by the end of the year.”