Stoke Park country club to shut for two years post takeover by Ambani
Mukesh Ambani, chairman of Reliance Industries Ltd(Photo by Adeel Halim/Bloomberg via Getty Images)
STOKE PARK COUNTRY CLUB, one of the most recognised clubs in England, has announced its closure for two years from August 2 to carry out restoration work, a report said.
The five-star hotel that was bought by Indian industrialist Mukesh Ambani just over a month ago for £57 million and will reopen in the summer of 2023, The Telegraph said.
Its golf club and estate will shut on October 18.
The announcement has angered many of its 2,500 members, who have struggled to enjoy its facilities of 27-hole championship course, 13 tennis courts, three restaurants, gymnasium, spa and 49 luxurious rooms during the coronavirus pandemic.
Members, who pay more than £4,000 a year in membership fees, fear the club could become Ambani’s private residence, the newspaper said.
“It’s all up in the air. There’s talk of it being made into a private residence. A lot of the golf clubs in the UK are being bought over by very rich people from abroad – it’s strange,” said Des Folliard, a former club golf captain who has played there for 23 years.
The closure will hit the Boodles Challenge, an international five-day tennis exhibition held in the week before Wimbledon, the newspaper said.
Stoke Park will also scale down its 160 staff, with those leaving being “properly compensated for their dedicated service”, a club spokesman said.
“The new owners of Stoke Park, Reliance Industries Limited, are making a major investment into the estate and are committed to preserving Stoke Park’s rich heritage,” he added.
He added that members remained the “beating heart” of Stoke Park and they look forward to welcoming them back to share a “glorious future”.