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£119,000 investment project set to make Derbyshire tennis fans Wimbledon ready

Published on Saturday 30 March 2024

A Derbyshire town has received a cash injection that will improve sports facilities in the area and give a boost to community sports events.  


Amber Valley Borough Council and The Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) have partnered to bring tennis courts, last used for the sport 15 years ago, back to life. 
 
A whopping £119,000 investment is being made available for the local project, which will enable the refurbishment of four tennis courts at Alfreton Recreation Ground, off Grange Street.
    
Cllr John McCabe said: “We are committed to providing good quality and accessible leisure facilities for the benefit of our local community. 
  
“This grant, alongside funding from the Lawn Tennis Association (LTA), is a fantastic opportunity to make significant improvements to sports facilities for our community. It will bring back in to use under-utilised courts at grass roots level.”  
 
As part of the refurbishment works, the courts will be upgraded, and improvements will also be made to the accessibility and security of the site. 
 
A new digitally coded Gate Access system will be installed, which promotes and improves court access for tennis. Once the refurbishment at Alfreton Welfare is complete, players will be able to book online via the LTA website https://www.lta.org.uk/book, making it far easier to find and book a court or activity. 
  
There will also be one netball court marked out which will also be available to book.  
  
The Park Refurbishment Programme is part of nationwide investment by the UK Government and LTA Tennis Foundation. Delivered by the LTA it is a key part of its vision of ‘Tennis opened up’.  
 
Their mission is to grow tennis by making it “relevant, accessible, welcoming, and enjoyable”. It aims to bring existing park tennis courts across the country, which are in poor or unplayable condition, back to life for the benefit of communities.  
 
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, opening up the sport to those from lower socioeconomic backgrounds and women and girls.
 
Alongside the investment, Amber Valley Borough Council will also work with the LTA to deliver a range of activity across the park sites. 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.
 
Cllr McCabe added: “Back in 2022, this site was identified in the AVBC Playing Pitch Strategy as a facility that should be investigated to see if it was feasible to bring back into use. 
 
“So, we are delighted that it was also a site that the LTA considered suitable for funding under its Park Refurbishment Programme.”  
 
Julie Porter, Chief Operating Officer at the LTA, said: “We are delighted to be working with Amber 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 Amber Valley Borough Council to ensure that the local community has a range of accessible opportunities to get on court and open up our sport to many more people.” 
 
Efforts for the project have been rallied, with the speedy turnaround of works set to be completed, weather permitting, by May 2024 – perfect timing for the build-up to Wimbledon. 




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