Tennis courts at Preston's Moor Park, Ashton Park and Haslam Park set for £240k investment
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Public tennis courts in Preston are to be refurbished after a new deal was struck to invest £243,000.
Preston City Council and the LTA Tennis Foundation have announced a partnership to invest in and refurbish Moor Park, Ashton Park and Haslam Park.
The project is part of a nationwide investment by the UK Government and LTA Tennis Foundation, delivered by the LTA, to refurbish public tennis courts across Great Britain, and open up the sport to many more people.
This investment will see thousands of existing park tennis courts in poor or unplayable condition brought back to life for the benefit of communities across the country through renovation works, and improved court accessibility with new gate-access technology and booking systems.
Park tennis courts are vital in providing opportunities for children and adults to get active, delivering significant physical and mental health and wellbeing benefits to participants. Accessible facilities in parks are particularly critical to opening up the sport to those from lower socio-economic backgrounds plus women and girls.
In addition to investment of £218,000 from the UK Government and LTA Tennis Foundation, £25,000 is also being invested by Preston City Council.
Alongside this investment, Preston City Council and the operator of the tennis programme across the parks, We Do Tennis CIC, will also work with the LTA to deliver a range of activity across the park sites.
This will include weekly, organised, free park tennis sessions for all ages, abilities and experience where equipment is provided, meaning that people will not need someone to play with or their own racket.
Local Tennis Leagues will also provide friendly, sociable, opportunities to get active through local competition. These friendly sessions are open to anyone in the area with an interest in playing tennis, whatever your age or ability.
Introducing a small fee to book a court will help to build up a fund to repair courts in future years, when they will inevitably need more maintenance.
Preston City Council is working with the LTA to ensure that there will be weekly free tennis sessions on courts. This means nobody in the local community will be excluded from the chance to pick up a racket and start playing.
Following the completion of the court renovations, the courts at the three sites are now available to book online via the LTA website.
Councillor Jennifer Mein, Cabinet member for health and wellbeing at Preston City Council, said: “The improvements to these tennis courts were just what was needed to enable access to quality outdoor sports facilities in Preston.
“Having liaised with a number of residents groups recently, the revised offer introducing concessions reduces the cost for those that are in employment but are on a low income, enabling play at the reduced rate at any time, alongside the times the courts are free to play on, seven days a week.
“Income generated guarantees a sustainable financial model for the operation of the tennis courts and ensures there is adequate income to the Council to provide for future maintenance of the facilities.
“There remains free access to sports facilities at the Council owned tennis courts at Moor Park multi-use games area near to the observatory, and at Frenchwood Recreation Ground. Access to these courts will remain free and accessible at all times.”
Julie Porter, Chief Operating Officer at the LTA, added: “We are delighted to be working with Preston City Council to improve their park tennis facilities and provide more opportunities for anyone to pick up a racket and get active.
“This investment is part of the UK Government and LTA’s Parks Tennis Project and will mean that courts will be available for people to use for years to come. We will also be working closely with Preston City Council to ensure that the local community have a range of accessible opportunities to get on court and open up our sport to many more people.”