Judas Priest guitarist KK Downing today revealed he has secured the finances that could lead to major international golf tournaments being held in Shropshire.
Mr Downing bought Astbury Hall near Bridgnorth in the 1980s, and has since been developing the 6,500-yard, par-71 course to bring it up to championship standards. Professional golfer Darren Clarke has come on board as an ambassador for the scheme.
Now Regentsmead, a leading property development finance business, has agreed to help fund the building of luxury holiday cabins around his estate – contributing a “seven figure sum” to the ambitious project. Initially, seven chalets will be built to test the appetite for staying at the course, but the long-term plans include building an entire “Darren Clarke Village”, complete with 200 high-class holiday homes. Future plans include a “world class” spa as well as a hotel and restaurant.
It is hoped that the addition of accommodation could allow major international golfing tournaments to be held at Astbury.
Mr Downing, 62, said today: “We’ve got an awful lot of things in the pipeline. For example, we’ve got a fantastic spa facility, that’s being worked on at the moment, that’s going to quite possibly be the biggest and best, and most futuristic in the country. It would be fantastic if we create a Darren Clarke Village. We want Astbury to become a destination not just nationally but internationally as well.”
Regentsmead chief executive James Bloom added: “We are very excited to be part of this development and to work with such high profile legends as KK Downing and Darren Clarke is an added bonus to what is going to be a landmark destination once the development of the lodges and the hotel/spa has been completed. We are looking forward to being involved in the continued development of The Astbury.”