Test Valley Borough Council and the LTA have today announced a partnership to invest in and refurbish the public park tennis court in Andover and Romsey. Both tennis courts will be renovated at Vigo Road in Andover and at War Memorial Park in Romsey with gate access and booking systems installed, the courts will still be free to use and the booking system will enable users to plan when they would like to play and book a timed slot for their free use of the courts.
The investment of £37,000 will help ensure that quality facilities are available for the local community as well as introducing an easy-to-use online process to book a court to play. Picket Piece and Picket Twenty will also have booking systems set up as part of this project.
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.
Alongside the investment, Test Valley Borough Council staff will also work with the LTA to deliver a range of activity on these tennis courts. 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 courts online booking system will be available for players aged 13 plus and can be found via the LTA website www.lta.org.uk/play. This will make it far easier to find and book a tennis court or activity on the courts across Test Valley.
Work on sites is anticipated to start in the Autumn and be completed ready for play in 2024.
Leisure Portfolio Holder, Councillor Terese Swain, said:
“This is a fantastic opportunity to encourage more people to get active and play tennis with newly renovated tennis courts in both the north and south of the borough that will be free to book online. It is great to work in partnership with the Lawn Tennis Association to help make this happen and it will give such a boost to the quality of our public tennis court facilities to be enjoyed by the local community.”
Julie Porter, Chief Operating Officer at the LTA, said:
“We are delighted to be working with Test Valley 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 Test Valley 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.”