A SOUTHAMPTON pitch and putt course has been saved thanks to the efforts of one family.

The 18-hole course at Riverside Park has reopened as a family run enterprise three years after Southampton City Council said it could no longer afford to subsidise it at the cost of £15,000 a year.

Bradley Day, and his uncle James Cole members of Southampton fairground family Cole & Sons have taken on the pitch and putt as a commercial venture.

"It's been a long time coming for us, we started negotiations with the council in December," said Bradley, who said that the family had plans for a bouncy castle and crazy golf course at the site.

"We decided on a soft launch to gauge reaction and so far it has been very positive. People are happy to see it open again." he added.

Bradley said he decided to take on the venture in order to spend more time with his family.

"I wanted to spend more time with my children and this is beautiful place to work and for the kids to play."

James Cole said: "Being from Thornhill, it has been nice to be able to give something back to the community."

The pair have brought in a management company to oversee the maintenance of the course.

"We have a golf fanatic working with us who knows exactly how to look after the course." Bradley said.

"Coming from fairgrounds, this has been a bit of a learning curve for us, but we're getting there.

"The course has won awards for best pitch and putt in the south coast in the past and we are aiming to win that award again," he added.

Doug Perry chair of advocacy group, Friends of Riverside Park, said the re-opening was “absolutely wonderful” because the course had gone to “wrack and ruin” over the last few years.

"It is excellent to see the flags flying and putting on the greens again," he added.