£125 million of funding up for grabs to transform British tennis
New figures show that tennis is booming in Portsmouth following investment in facilities by the Lawn Tennis Association and Portsmouth City Council partnership. Other areas are now being encouraged to follow Portsmouth’s lead with significant grassroots funding up for grabs.
Tennis in Portsmouth is enjoying an unparalleled boom thanks to the recent multi-million pound investment in facilities led by the Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) and Portsmouth City Council. 7,600 players are now registered in the city and membership of public parks and clubs has quadrupled in the last four years.
The investment has seen the construction of the Portsmouth Indoor Tennis Centre as part of a sports hub in the north of the city and improvements to park facilities across the city including resurfacing, more floodlit and covered courts, and the introduction of free online booking systems. These upgrades have been singled out by the council and local LTA representatives as key reasons for the surge of interest in the game from people of all ages and backgrounds.
Other towns and cities across the region are now being encouraged to follow Portsmouth’s lead by applying for their slice of an unprecedented £125 million of funding available through the LTA’s recently-announced Transforming British Tennis Together programme. The programme provides funding for grassroots facilities to increase participation in the game across the UK.
Portsmouth was one of 12 areas selected by the LTA to pilot local partnerships to improve grassroots facilities prior to the launch of Transforming British Tennis Together. Facilities at Southsea Tennis Club and Canoe Lake have also benefited from investment from a variety of funding sources.
Linda Symes, Portsmouth City Council’s Cabinet Member for Culture, Leisure and Sport said:
“We are very proud the vast improvements to our grassroots facilities have been so popular with our residents across Portsmouth… Tennis is a sport that everyone can enjoy and it’s great to see people of all ages and abilities with so many new opportunities to play and get active.”
Simon Johnson, Head of Region for the South West at the LTA said:
“Portsmouth… is a great example of how improving facilities and making it easier for people to play, increases participation. Through Transforming British Tennis Together, the opportunities are there for communities across the region to partner with the LTA and benefit from this record level of funding to improve their local facilities, so we’d encourage them and local authorities to get in touch and tell us what they need to help get more people playing.”
Transforming British Tennis Together aims to reduce the barriers to playing tennis by doubling the number of floodlit and covered courts across the UK over the next ten years, increasing available playing hours. The initiative will also see the LTA work with local communities across the region to:
- Install online booking and entry systems so everyone can book a tennis court easily from their mobile phone, computer or tablet
- Refurbish courts, clubhouses and other social spaces to ensure players have a great experience every time they visit
- Support other innovative and creative ideas that meet local demand
The LTA is calling on tennis clubs, parks, local government, volunteers, coaches and businesses across the region to come together and register their interest in bidding for the funds to transform their local tennis courts.
For more information, visit the LTA website