Tennis courts at Moor Park, Haslam Park and Ashton Park are set to be upgraded with £150,000 funding.
Preston City Council’s Parks and Street Scenes Department has been working with the Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) to improve access and facilities in the city for several years.
Now a report to Cabinet seeks approval from the LTA to apply an LTA funding program on behalf of the Council for an externally funded improvements program.
To receive the funding, a new entry system will need to be installed, with players having to book online and pay for the pitch rental.
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Although the courts are proposed to be free to use Monday to Friday 7am to 3pm, it will cost £2 per hour Monday to Friday 3pm to 10pm and Saturday and Sunday 7am to 10pm.
The Moor Park tennis courts, located in the multi-purpose playground near the Observatory, and the Frenchwood recreation ground will remain free and accessible at all times.
All the money raised will be reinvested by the LTA in the courts, in particular to provide community coaching. Free sessions will be offered.
The report states that if the Council chooses not to accept LTA funding, it will need to invest around £100,000 in Moor Park to maintain a level of security, or £150,000 to bring the site to a playable state.
In 2012, an LTA report on the Council’s tennis courts found that work was needed, including resurfacing, court markings, fencing, net upgrades and potential lighting upgrades. The 2019 Central Lancashire Playground Strategy (PPS) also identified issues with tennis courts.
While the Haslam Park and Ashton Park courts were found to be in standard condition, the St. Thomas Road tennis courts which are part of Moor Park are said to be in poor condition.
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The works proposed by the LTA and the associated costs are as follows:
- Moor Park – resurfacing six courts, improving fencing and adding a gate access system – £100,000
- Haslam Park – bond surface and paint three courts and add gate access system – £25,000
- Ashton Park – bond surface and paint two courts and add gate access system – £25,000
While the Council will retain ownership and maintenance of the three venues, they will be managed by the LTA with an initial five-year agreement in place.
The report can be viewed on the Preston City Council website.
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What do you think of the potential funding? Do you use the courts? Let us know in the comments.