THE new operator of a golf course that has been closed for months is confident the club will reopen again early next week.

Jim Douglas - the new operator of Stony Holme Golf Course - is waiting on a call from Carlisle City Council bosses to sign the last piece of paperwork so the keys to the club can be handed over and the course can reopen.

Speaking exclusively to the News & Star, Mr Douglas said everything is ready to go, he is just waiting for paperwork to be finalised. The Carlisle course closed suddenly six months ago after operator Mack Golf ceased trading and entered into voluntary administration.

Last month it was revealed Mr Douglas - the ex-managing director of the former social enterprise leisure trust known as CLL - was to be the new operator of the course.

Following the closure, the city council, which owns the golf course, pledged to do everything it could to reopen the course and neighbouring Swifts Driving Range.

Mr Douglas said: “Hopefully [it will be open again] on Monday, at the latest Tuesday.

“Unfortunately these legal technicalities do take a while to be completed. Hopefully everybody is doing all they can, it just takes a lot of time to sort out the paperwork.

“I have been ready [to open] for two weeks, I am keen and ready. I had hoped I would be called in to sign something yesterday.”

Mr Douglas continued: “It is just a question of signing, looking at health and safety and picking up the keys. I had hoped to open a couple of weeks ago but the legalities and contracts do take some time to get things sorted.

“As soon as I sign we can get the keys. At the moment the course is playable. With a good wind we could be open early next week.”

A spokeswoman for the city council said: “We’re committed to making sure that Jim can open the course as quickly as possible and we’re working together to finalise lease arrangements.”

Mr Douglas previously told the News & Star that the initial priority was Stony Holme but longer term, he has plans to bring Swifts back into use, using it as a training facility for beginners and young golfers.