Thanet District Council and the Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) have announced a partnership to invest in and refurbish public park tennis courts across Thanet. In total, six tennis venues will be renovated, with investment of £255,234 from the government and LTA Tennis Foundation.
Thanet District Council is investing a further £28,000 in the project, making a combined total investment of £283,234.
The following tennis courts will be renovated:
- Spencer Square and Montefiore Games Centre in Ramsgate;
- Memorial Recreation Ground, Broadstairs;
- Hartsdown Park and Westbrook Games Centre, Margate;
- St Mildred’s Games Centre in Westgate-on-Sea.
Work is set to start in January 2024 and be completed by the end of April 2024, weather permitting. The courts will be closed to the public during this time. While the work is taking place, the council will look for an experienced operator to lease and manage the courts.
Once renovated, members of the public will be able to book the tennis courts online via the LTA website www.lta.org.uk/play, subject to a booking fee.
The project is part of a £30million investment by the government and LTA Tennis Foundation, to refurbish park tennis courts across Great Britain. The project is being delivered by the LTA, and aims to open up the sport to many more people by ensuring that quality facilities are available for local communities.
This investment will see thousands of existing park tennis courts nationwide, currently in poor or unplayable condition, brought back to life for the benefit of communities across the country. Six courts at locations across Thanet will be renovated, with improved accessibility, new gate-access technology and booking systems.
Alongside the investment, Thanet District Council and tennis operators will work with the LTA to deliver a range of activities, free of charge, across the park sites. These are expected to include free weekly organised park tennis sessions for people of all ages, playing levels and experience. Equipment will be provided, meaning that people will not need a tennis partner or their own racket. Local tennis leagues will also provide opportunities to get active through local competition.
Cllr Ruth Duckworth, Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Growth, said:
“Public tennis courts play an important role in providing opportunities for children and adults to become more active. This partnership will make a big difference to the quality of our sports facilities across the district, and the improved accessibility will open up the sport to more people.
“We’re becoming more and more aware of the significant benefits of regular exercise, to our physical and mental health and to our wellbeing. Delivering a project like this is one way that we can help to improve the wellbeing of our local residents.”
Julie Porter, Chief Operating Officer at the LTA, said:
“We are delighted to be working with Thanet District 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 Thanet District Council to ensure that the local community has a range of accessible opportunities to get on court, and open up our sport to many more people.”