Culture Secretary Lucy Frazer marks refurbishment of 1,000 public tennis courts ahead of Wimbledon Championships
On the eve of the Wimbledon Championships, 1,000 public tennis courts across Britain have now been refurbished as part of over £30 million worth of investment, the Government and LTA has confirmed today
- 1,000 public tennis courts across England, Scotland and Wales refurbished as part of over £30 million investment by the Government and LTA
- Package prioritising refurbishments in deprived areas
- Investment supporting the 43% increase in adults playing annually, and will capitalise on the inspirational recent British success in men’s and women’s tennis
The Culture Secretary Lucy Frazer and Lawn Tennis Association Chief Executive Scott Lloyd hailed the milestone at the recently renovated Fisherman’s Green park in Eastbourne today, where they supported a coaching session with local school children and adults.
The event took place as the Rothesay International Eastbourne tournament continues in the town ahead of The Wimbledon Championships, starting on 3 July.
Culture Secretary Lucy Frazer said:
"Keeping the country active is a key priority for this government, and access to grassroots sport is a vital part of that, whether you live in the middle of a city, or a small village.
"As a massive tennis fan I see this as a major opportunity for those who may not have played before to pick up a racket and give it a go.
"We will continue to invest millions in sport across the country and I can already see from this local court in Eastbourne the positive impact it is going to have for many years to come."
The £30 million package, which will see £21.9 million committed by the Government and £8.4 million by the LTA Tennis Foundation, is the most significant investment in parks tennis courts for a generation.
It is delivering vital improvements to the condition of over 3,000 park tennis courts across England, Scotland and Wales until 2024, resurfacing and repainting those parks in the worst condition, with a particular focus on targeting inequalities in participation.
Lawn Tennis Association CEO Scott Lloyd said:
"We are delighted to have now refurbished 1,000 park tennis courts across Britain as part of this investment in park tennis facilities by the Government and LTA Tennis Foundation.
"We’re working with hundreds of local authorities across the country to transform park tennis courts, making it far easier to find a court and book, and ensuring a range of engaging activities are available for people to take part in.
"It’s great to see how courts like these in Eastbourne will benefit local communities across Britain, and help provide opportunities for many more people to pick up a racket, get on court, and enjoy playing tennis."
As part of its commitment to open tennis up to many more people, the LTA is supporting local authorities and providers to ensure that a range of activity is in place across park courts, including free weekly tennis sessions where equipment is provided. All courts will be bookable on the LTA online booking system with digital gate access systems installed across sites, to make finding, booking and getting onto court as easy and secure as possible for tennis players across the country.
The move is designed to open up the sport to people of all backgrounds, with the LTA aiming to attract 500,000 more players in parks every year.
It comes amid a surge in grassroots participation, and elite success across British tennis.
The LTA recently announced a rise of 43% in overall participation of adults playing during 2022 to a total of 4.7 million, and a significant increase in children playing annually to 3.6 million. Notably there has also been significant growth in women’s participation, up 34%, and participation among 16-34 year olds up by 48%.
Over the past three years, Emma Raducanu won the US Open in 2021, there has been sustained success for Gordon Reid and Alfie Hewett in wheelchair doubles Grand Slam events, and Cameron Norrie is in the men’s top 20.
More recently, the British team reached the semi-finals of the Billie Jean King Cup for the first time since 1981, and Katie Boulter was the winner of the Nottingham Open earlier this month.
This major investment is designed to support the Government’s commitment to levelling up sports provision across the nation, and provide greater opportunities for everyone to follow the Chief Medical Officer’s guidance on physical activity.
Over £300 million is also being used to support the roll-out or refurbishment of multi-sport facilities across the UK between 2021 and 2025, and £60 million is being invested into local swimming pools in England this year.