Lowestoft Town Council and the LTA have today announced a partnership to invest in and refurbish public park tennis courts. Three park tennis venues will be renovated, with investment of c.£374,000 ensuring quality facilities are available free of charge for all who live in and visit Lowestoft.
The project is part of a nationwide investment by the UK Government and LTA Tennis Foundation, delivered by the LTA, to refurbish public tennis courts across Great Britain, and open up the sport to many more people. At a national level, this programme will see thousands of existing park tennis courts in poor or unplayable condition brought back to life for the benefit of communities across the country through renovation works and improved court accessibility with new gate-access technology and booking systems.
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 in opening up the sport to those from lower socioeconomic backgrounds and women and girls.
In Lowestoft, a total of 16 tennis courts and 8 pickleball courts at three venues (Normanston Park, Kensington Gardens, Denes Oval) are being upgraded, including resurfacing works, new access gates, an online booking system and floodlights (at Denes Oval only). Investment of £174,000 has been secured through the LTA's Park Tennis Project with Lowestoft Town Council contributing approximately £200,000.
Alongside the investment in refurbishing the courts, Lowestoft Town Council will work with the LTA to deliver a range of activities across the venues. This will include weekly organised free park tennis sessions for all ages, to include provision of equipment and playing partners, meaning that people will not need someone to play with or their own racket to join in. Local Tennis Leagues will also be established to provide friendly, sociable, opportunities to get active through local competition.
Work on sites is anticipated to start in February 2024 and be completed in the Spring.
Mayor Sonia Barker, Chair of Lowestoft Town Council and Mayor of Lowestoft said:
“Securing this investment to refurbish our tennis courts and introduce free to all tennis participation across our park tennis venues is a real win for the Town Council and we welcome the opportunity to work with LTA in enhancing tennis provision to increase inclusion and participation. As a Town Council we are keen to ensure our substantial leisure assets are enjoyed by all and support us in achieving increased levels of physical activity in our communities, leading to improved health and wellbeing for Lowestoft residents.”
Julie Porter, Chief Operating Officer at the LTA, said:
“We are delighted to be working with Lowestoft Town 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 Lowestoft Town Council to ensure that the local community have a range of accessible opportunities to get on court, and open up our sport to many more people.”