Westland’s Sports Centre and Wolstanton Park tennis courts have been singled out to receive grant funding from the Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) alongside capital funding from Newcastle-under-Lyme Borough Council.
The funding, if approved by the LTA, could allow the Council to deliver new and exciting tennis programmes across the borough as well as opportunities to work with partners to bring additional investment and income into the borough’s parks.
The Council currently owns and operates 18 tennis courts based at Westland’s Sports Centre, Wolstanton Park, Clough Hall Park, Silverdale Park and Bradwell Lodge.
The LTA has identified Newcastle as one of their priority areas to increase participation in tennis and the Council has been working closely with the association to identify opportunities for innovative improvements and enhanced access to the sport for residents.
Participation in tennis activities over recent years has decreased and, due to the deteriorating condition of some of the pitches, access to the tennis courts has been free, with players turning up randomly for games.
To improve access to the courts and provide easy online booking it is felt that Westland’s Sports Centre and Wolstanton Park would benefit from the installation of a gate access system. This would allow residents to find and a book tennis court at any time through the LTA’s online booking platform. Capital funding is also needed to improve the courts at both of the sites. The LTA has provided an indicative cost to install the gate access system and enhance the courts at a cost of £163,700. To fund this investment, the LTA have in principle agreed a grant of £133,700. An additional £30,000 would be allocated from the Council’s capital programme.