Torbay Council and the LTA (Lawn Tennis Association) have announced a partnership to invest in and refurbish public park tennis courts in Torquay, Paignton and Brixham. In total, 3 park tennis venues will be renovated, with investment of over £500,000 helping ensure that quality facilities are available for the local community.
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 socioeconomic backgrounds and women and girls.
In addition to investment of £337,000 from the UK Government and LTA Tennis Foundation, £167,000 will also be invested by Torbay Council – demonstrating the council’s commitment to investing in sport in Torbay.
Alongside the investment, Torbay Council Sports Development Team 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, playing levels 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.
The park venues being renovated are Abbey Park (Torquay), Oldway Mansion (Paignton) and St Mary’s Park (Brixham) with the introduction of online booking and access control. The online booking will be found via the LTA website www.lta.org.uk/play and via Torbay’s dedicated booking platform for the tennis courts. This will make it far easier to find and book a court or activity at tennis courts across Torbay.
All courts and sessions across Torbay will be available to book online via the LTA website and the dedicated Torbay booking system website and app when the courts are completed.
Work on the St Mary’s Park court started on Monday 20 February, with works starting from next week on the Torquay and Paignton courts. Works are expected to take up to 6-weeks (weather dependent).
Cllr Mike Morey, Cabinet Member for Infrastructure, Environment and Culture for Torbay Council, said; “Providing high quality sports facilities and resources across Torbay is an important element of our new Playing Pitch Strategy. The courts that are benefitting from this funding will enable us to encourage more people to take up playing tennis in their community, without needing to be a member of a private club.”
Julie Porter, Chief Operating Officer at the LTA, said: “We are delighted to be working with Torbay 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 Torbay 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.”
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