Tennis courts

Bath area tennis courts have been relaunched in a bid to boost player participation

A partnership between Bath & North East Somerset Council and the LTA, Britain’s national tennis governing body, has regenerated the area’s Community Park tennis courts.

The Courts of Alice Park in Bath | Photo © ALT

Alice Park and Sydney Gardens Courts in Bath and Keynsham Memorial Park have benefited from over half a million pounds of investment.

The local authority and the LTA have implemented a strategy to renovate 14 tennis courts across the three parks since 2015.

At the start of the project, the courts were in poor condition with little evidence of regular use.

Over £600,000 has been invested in the complete refurbishment of the 14 courts, transforming them into high quality community sports facilities.

The investment included the installation of state-of-the-art Gate Access technology, providing a simple, automated online journey to book a court, using a PIN code for secure entry.

Across the country, there are currently 1.7 million adults and many more children who play tennis at a local park each year, and the park’s tennis courts are especially important in introducing the sport to many. new audiences.

The project in Bath and North East Somerset is part of a wider LTA ambition to boost participation at the park’s tennis venues, as well as ensure the future sustainability of these facilities, which are considered as vital community assets that can help broaden impact. the physical and mental health benefits of physical activity through tennis.

The improvements have already enabled 370 households in the local community to purchase a £40 annual pass from the start of autumn 2021 to help them stay fit and active.

Over 5,000 reservations have been made on the 12 courts currently in play and a sinking fund has been set up to support the courts in the future and ensure they can be maintained to a high standard.

The other two Sydney Gardens courts are due to be completed and bookable this month, with a community coaching program across the three parks launching for residents this spring.

A project to open up tennis to different groups who might not have thought of tennis as a sport for them will be put in place to meet the aims and objectives of the board and the LTA.

Martin Pellow, Project Manager, Leisure and Public Health, Bath & North East Somerset Council, said: “Previously the public tennis courts owned by Bath & North East Somerset Council were in poor condition, generating little or no revenues and requiring strategic investments.

“Working closely with the LTA, the council secured funding and appointed a contractor to refurbish the tennis courts at Keynsham Memorial Park, Alice Park and Sydney Gardens, which included an online booking system and access gates.

“The project has created a network of community tennis facilities which we hope will encourage more people to play tennis and get active.

“The new tennis operator, Westport, will also facilitate wider use for local schools, colleges, community groups and disability groups, offering ‘pay & play’ opportunities, membership packages and tennis free with training programs.”

James Deem, Parks Investment Delivery Partner at LTA, said: “It’s fantastic to see the results of the investment in the courts at Alice Park, Sydney Gardens and Keynsham Memorial Park.

“We have enjoyed working in partnership with Bath & North East Somerset Council and are delighted to see the impact the court renovations have had on the conduct of tennis in local communities.”

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