Havant Borough Council and the LTA have today announced a partnership to invest in and refurbish public park tennis courts across Havant In total, four park tennis venues will be renovated, with investment of £230,000 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 £218,000 from the UK Government and LTA Tennis Foundation, £12,000 developer contributions will also be invested by Havant Borough Council.
Alongside the investment, Havant Borough Council will be seeking a new operator to manage the courts and work with Havant Borough Council and 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. The existing Local Tennis Leagues will also provide friendly, sociable, opportunities to get active through local competition.
The park venues being renovated are: Purbrook Heath, Cowplain Recreation Ground, Jubilee Park (Waterlooville) and Havant Park whilst Bidbury Mead and Emsworth Recreation Ground will have gate access control and online booking making it far easier to find and book a court or activity. The courts on Hayling Island and Front Lawn Community Tennis will remain bookable as they have the booking and access technology already in place.
Each will have online booking found via the LTA website www.lta.org.uk/play and via Havant Borough Council dedicated booking platform for each venue found at https://clubspark.lta.org.uk/TennisinHavant. The booking platform will be updated as the project progresses to reflect the improved quality of courts and increased level of activities anticipated.
Work on sites is anticipated to start in March and be completed later in the spring.
Councillor Gwen Robinson, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Lead for Communities and Housing said: “Providing high quality sports facilities and resources in the borough is an important element of our new Corporate Strategy incorporating Wellbeing - the health of our communities. 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 Havant Borough 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 Havant Borough 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.”