Two of Swale Borough Council’s tennis courts have been refurbished thanks to a partnership between the council and the LTA (Lawn Tennis Association).
The park tennis courts at Milton Recreation Ground and King George V Playing Fields in Sittingbourne are now open to the public after going through extensive improvement works delivered by the LTA through its Park Tennis Project, alongside Swale Borough Council.
Work to improve the seven courts across the two parks has included resurfacing, new fencing, nets and the installation of gate access technology to make it easier for players to find, book and get on court.
A full repainting of the courts is scheduled to take place in the spring when the weather allows. Temporary lines have been installed in the meantime so the community can enjoy the new courts, get out, active and socialise.
The refurbishments are thanks to a £124,578.54 investment by the UK government and LTA Tennis Foundation, and an additional injection of £32,413 from the council.
The investment forms part of the LTA’s Park Tennis Project, through which thousands of tennis courts across Great Britain are being transformed for the benefit of local communities, as part of a £30million investment by the UK Government and LTA Tennis Foundation.
The LTA and Swale Borough Council will work together to offer free tennis sessions providing regular opportunities for anyone to pick up a racket and play.
This includes weekly free tennis sessions, organised by volunteers, every Saturday and Sunday from 10am, with equipment provided. Local Tennis Leagues will also be setup to give people the opportunity to get involved in friendly and social local competitions.
Frequent players can purchase season tickets allowing daily access to the courts for £40 per year. Casual users can book a court for £6 per hour. Funds raised will ensure that the courts are maintained at their new high standard for years to come. You can book a session online on the LTA website: https://www.lta.org.uk/book
Cllr Richard Palmer, the Chair of the community committee at Swale Borough Council, told SFM News: "We are excited to announce that these newly refurbished courts have reopened after being given a much needed new lease on life. An active community is a healthier and happier one, and the more opportunities we can provide, for people of all ages, the better. That is why it is important that we offer the free sessions on the weekend, so everyone can have access to these wonderful courts, get active and socialise without the need for any equipment. While the new fees will allow the courts to be maintained to this new high standard making sure they are available to the community for years to come. We can’t wait to see the courts full and busy once again, it is amazing to see unplayable local facilities transformed into something we can all be proud of.”
Julie Porter, Chief Operating Officer at the LTA, told SFM News; "After months of hard work, we’re delighted to see park tennis courts across Swale officially back open to the public, and in better shape than ever. 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.”