Tycoon tees up plans to create golf resort

Leisure tycoon John Morphet has unveiled plans to spend £250m creating the biggest golf resort in the Caribbean.

The Preston-born multi-millionaire is to add 250 new luxury properties and an extra 18-hole golf course to his Royal Westmoreland estate on the island of Barbados.

It follows a deal to buy up a 250-acre sugar cane plantation next to his existing estate on the sun-kissed island.

He has also snapped up the Mullins Beach Bar, one of the best-known bars on the island, and the Suga Suga Spa, which will be used to create a new beach club for visitors to the resort.

Mr Morphet, 53, said: "Royal Westmoreland is the premier golf resort in the Caribbean and I intend it to stay that way.

"I believe we will now have 36 of the best holes of golf in the world, our own beach club, bar and spa and another 250 acres on which to build luxury villas."

He has hired architects Tunnell-Spangler Walsh and Associates, an American firms which built the first 500 acres of Mr Morphet's estate, to design the properties.

Bill Tunnell said the job was "a fantastic opportunity" to renew acquaintances with the Lancashire tycoon.

He said: "Our knowledge of the estate will enable us to plan and design the next phase to the exacting standards required at Royal Westmoreland."

Among the celebrities who own properties on the estate are Preston-born cricket hero Andrew Flintoff, Ryder Cup captain Ian Woosnam and football star Gary Lineker.

Mr Morphet, who was born in Fulwood, bought the estate for 56m in 2004.

He is estimated to have a fortune of 98m, making him the 854th richest man in the country, having sold his South Lakeland Caravans business for 74m in 2006.

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