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Major investment to serve up improvements to 16 park tennis courts across the city

Published: Monday, 21st August 2023

Public tennis courts in six parks across Stoke-on-Trent are set to benefit from a major investment programme to serve up significant improvements to facilities.

Work begins today (Monday) at courts in Burslem Park and Queen’s Park, Longton in a programme that will see a total of 16 tennis courts transformed in Stoke-on-Trent City Council-run parks.

It is part of a £256,000 project funded by the government and Lawn Tennis Association Tennis Foundation which will see playing surfaces replaced, courts repainted, new fencing and nets installed and new gates and booking systems. The works are being delivered by the Lawn Tennis Association.

In total, four courts will be renovated in Hanley Park; three courts in both Bucknall Park and Queen’s Park, Longton; and two courts each in Burslem Park; Mount Pleasant Park, Fenton; and Tunstall Park.

The works are being staggered so that some facilities will be completed and opened before others, to reduce disruption. Works are typically expected to take between six weeks and two months at each park, depending on the weather and the amount of work needed.

Council leader Jane Ashworth said: “This is great news for residents right across the city. It’s no secret that I am a big sports fan and love to play tennis, and this investment is the biggest of its kind in our park courts in at least a generation. Some of the courts that are being invested in are in serious need of attention, and in particular, the facilities at Mount Pleasant Park have been neglected for a very long time.

“We ask for residents to bear with us while works are completed, there will still be courts available in other parks while each site is renovated. I can’t wait to see the finished courts; the works will mean we have fantastic new facilities that will be managed and invested in for years to come.”

When the works are completed, a new, easy-to-use booking system will be in place for each of the parks to help to guarantee availability, and residents can pay in advance to book their court times. The investment will also see a range of free activities on the courts throughout the year, including free coaching sessions. The courts will also benefit from deep cleans, repainting and repairs, with the small fee to use them going towards ensuring that the courts are maintained to high standards for years to come. More details will be revealed as the works progress.

Julie Porter, Chief Operating Officer at the LTA, said: “Public tennis courts are such vital facilities for getting active and we want as many people as possible, of all ages and abilities, to pick up a racket and enjoy playing tennis. Thanks to this investment the sport will be opened up to more players, for years to come.”

Stuart Andrew MP, Sports Minister, said: "We are committed to levelling up access to sport which is so important for the nation’s physical and mental health.

"The Government and the LTA are working together to deliver thousands of refurbished courts across Great Britain, supported by £30 million of investment including in Stoke-on-Trent.
 
"These improved tennis facilities will provide the local community with fun opportunities to get active and potentially become the next Andy Murray or Emma Raducanu."