Tycoon Eddy Shah puts Royal Wootton Bassett golf complex up for sale (From The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald)
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Tycoon Eddy Shah puts Royal Wootton Bassett golf complex up for sale
9:10am Monday 14th May 2012 in Wiltshire
Business tycoon Eddy Shah has put his Wiltshire Golf and Country Club near Royal Wootton Bassett up for sale for £3.5m.
Former newspaper entrepreneur Shah, 68, and his wife Jennifer have decided to pass the mantle on after more than ten years living and working in the area.
He said: “It’s time for someone else to take it on.
“We’ve been down here for more than 10 years working on a project which we have loved.
“But it is a seven day a week business which needs someone else younger running it and perhaps putting in more money.”
The couple came down to Wiltshire 12 years ago from East Anglia where they owned The Suffolk, The Norfolk and the Essex golf courses.
They bought the old 18 hole course and have since built a 58 bedroom hotel and leisure centre complete with swimming pool in the grounds.
In the following years they bought another 95 acres for another nine holes and built 50 holiday homes – spending a total of more than £5m.
The complex has a bar, a restaurant, a function room suitable for hosting weddings, a large reception area, a creche, a large swimming pool with changing rooms and a gym area.
Mr Shah is best known as the man who brought new technology and colour to newspapers which he then handed over to Rupert Murdoch.
At one stage he owned two national and 60 local newspapers and caused waves in the newspaper industry when he took on the unions and created Britain’s first colour newspaper, Today.
After selling his newspapers 20 years ago, he got into the golf course business becoming a shareholder and director of Wentworth Golf Club, which hosts the European PGA Championship and the World Match Play Championship and is regarded as one of the world’s top ten golf courses.
He said: “When I came to this area I loved the golf course and the location.
“There was nothing like it in the area and we wanted to build the best club and social venue in the area.
“We now have more than 1,500 members who can play golf or use all our facilities.”
The Shahs will not be giving up work though and will continue with their eco-friendly second home business which is on the country club grounds.
“There will be 70 homes, some which we have sold and some which we rent out,” he said.
“They are sustainable homes with 12 month occupancy and they are selling well.
“I haven’t played golf myself for ages – working during an economic depression can be tough whoever you are.”
The complex is being sold by Savills, which has given it a guide price tag of £3.5m.
For more information, log onto www.savills.co.uk.