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Improvements to 16 tennis courts across the city nears completion

Tennis courts Published: Wednesday, 8th May 2024

Improvements to 16 tennis courts across the city nears completion

This summer promises to give tennis fans access to some of the best tennis courts around, with over a quarter of a million pounds of investment across six stunning parks in Stoke-on-Trent - and just in time for Wimbledon.

It’s a known fact more people take to the court after seeing snippets on TV and the exciting buzz around top national players and their triumphs and falls.

Stoke-on-Trent City Council wants to encourage as many people as possible to take up the sport and is offering free sessions as the summer season sets in.

Last year, it was announced that public tennis courts in six parks across Stoke-on-Trent were to benefit from a major investment programme to serve up significant improvements to facilities across the nation.

In total, four courts have been 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.

Councillor Jane Ashworth, leader of Stoke-on-Trent City Council, said: “This investment is the biggest of its kind in our park courts in at least a generation. As an avid tennis player in my spare time I can’t wait to get playing on the courts. We now have fantastic new facilities that will be managed and invested in for years to come and hopefully will inspire young people in our city to take up the sport and get active. Look out for opening dates soon.”

The improvements come as part of the Park Tennis Project, a nationwide investment by the UK Government and LTA Tennis Foundation, delivered by the LTA, to refurbish public tennis courts and open the sport to many more people.

The £256,000 investment in the six parks across Stoke-on-Trent will see replacement playing surfaces, the repainting of courts, new fencing and the installation of nets, new gates and booking systems to increase participation.

There will now be a range of free activities on the courts throughout the year, including LTA Free Park Tennis sessions, with the council partnering with We Do Tennis C.I.C. to manage the day-to-day logistics moving forward.

Alongside the fresher facilities, a new, easy-to-use booking system will be in place for each of the parks helping to guarantee availability, so residents can pay in advance to book their court times. The booking fee will enable We Do Tennis to maintain the courts and ensure they are attractive, utilised and sustainable for the future, with deep cleans and re-paints being scheduled.

Andy Moss, Head of Parks at We Do Tenis, said: ‘We Do Tennis’ is a not-for-profit organisation focused on improving, growing, and securing the future of tennis at all levels. We are extremely excited to be working with Stoke-on-Trent Council and the residents of the local area to provide a first-class tennis offering. Improving the facilities is a great first step and our role is to activate tennis in the area and get lots of happy people with a racket in their hand.’

Councillor Jane Ashworth continued: “Having We Do Tennis in place to grow tennis participation across the city, will enable many more tennis initiatives to take place and help us to continue to provide excellent tennis facilities for our residents for years to come.

“There are plans for a Local Tennis League where players can communicate and organise matches individually, as well as coaching, school outreach, disability sessions, social tennis, and community outreach.”

We Do Tennis are currently looking for volunteers who are passionate about the sport to help on Free Park Tennis and other park sessions. People who are interested can go to https://wdtvenues.co.uk/stoke-on-trent-parks to learn more and express interest.

Details on when each court will reopen and how to use the online booking portal will be shared shortly.