Tennis courts

Plan to revive neglected Blackpool Park tennis courts revealed ahead of Wimbledon

The council had its funding offer approved as part of a national campaign to get neglected park courts back into use and encourage more people to pick up a racquet.

The funding will be used to develop four new lots at Stanley Park and renovate the grounds at Cavendish Road Park, Claremont Park and Anchorsholme Park.

A gate system will be put in place allowing people to reserve pitches and monitor usage.

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Neglected Tennis Courts at Stanley Park

It follows the October 2021 launch of a £22m government investment in public tennis courts, as well as £8.5m in funding from the Lawn Tennis Association (LTA).

The council’s recreational arm, Active Blackpool, is working with the LTA on the project.

Councilor Bradley Mitchell welcomed the funding and told a full-council meeting that he started playing the sport on the courts in Stanley Park.

He said: “Although they were far from in good condition when I first played, it saddens me to see them in their current condition.

“I am delighted that the government and LTA are investing in our tennis courts.

“Tennis has the potential to be a very accessible sport. Once you have a racquet and a ball, you can stay fit, have fun and make brilliant friends for little or no cost.”

Earl Don Clapham also welcomed the investment and praised the efforts of the late Councilor Lily Henderson who had worked with the LTA to run regular tennis sessions for children at Highfield Park and Cavendish Road Park.

He said: “At Cavendish Road Park we worked hard with the late Lily Henderson and the LTA on tennis.

“The initiative between Highfield and Bispham has been great. I’m looking forward to the money that’s going to be invested. It’s certainly a long time coming.”

A report from the council says the funding “aims to revive public park tennis courts that are in very poor condition or unplayable for the benefit of their local community.”

“The initiative also aims to engage one million more players in tennis, supporting health and wellness outcomes.”

In 2019, the LTA placed Blackpool and the Fylde 23rd on a list of 72 priority locations in England to invest in to increase tennis participation.

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