Barmy or brilliant? Library’s mini-golf plan divides opinion

Plans for a new mini golf course with a history of York theme next to the central library have divided opinion.

We reported in August how the course, taking players from the Roman era at hole one, moving through the Viking, medieval and Georgian periods, was planned for next year.

One neighbour has now described the scheme as “completely barmy”. But others say it could help attract people into the library.

Plans to use the Library Lawn, an underused area between the York Explore library and Museum Gardens, bounded by the Roman Wall and Anglian Tower, for the new visitor attraction will be put before councillors tomorrow (Thursday).

New company York Mini Golf has plans for a 12-hole mini golf course to be run at the site for the next five years – which could help make money for York Explore, which would rent out the land.

Help libraries flourish

The Library Lawn next to York Explore

But the neighbourly critic wrote to the council saying: “Your plan to develop a small parcel of land adjacent to the Explore York Library into a mini-golf course is economically naïve, unwanted and totally out of character in its current tranquil surroundings.

“Do you really think visitors to York on a cold, wet, wild winter’s weekend, in say February, will want to face up to the elements and putt golf balls through an obstacle course, and make money for the city council at the same time? Completely barmy!”

Others thought the golf might distract people studying in the library.

But the report says some residents expect the attraction to draw more people to the library itself and hope it will inspire more interest in long term plans for the land.

The attraction will help make money for York’s libraries.

The Library Lawn is owned by the council and is set to be leased to York Explore – the organisation that runs the city’s libraries – at a low “peppercorn” rent until 2034.

A report for senior councillors, who are asked to agree to the plans, says: “The proposal is a further commitment to support the council’s library and archives service to develop and flourish, whilst offering Explore an opportunity to diversify in generating significant income that will underpin Explore’s business plan to maintain the level of public libraries in York.

“Explore are best placed to utilise Library Lawn and this has always been the council’s intention, working collaboratively with wider stakeholders to ensure future proposals can be brought forward by Explore as a social enterprise.”

The meeting takes place tomorrow at 5.30pm.