Harrow Council serves up tennis improvement plans

Lawn Tennis Association is set to serve up £445,000 to make Harrow’s public tennis courts ace.

  • Lawn Tennis Association set to invest £445,000 in Harrow’s public tennis courts
  • New booking system and pay-to-play charges to ensure revamped courts remain a gold standard
  • Concessions to be in place for under 16s, over 65s and those with disabilities, as well as free coaching sessions for wannabe Raducanus and Murrays of the future

On the eve of Wimbledon fortnight, Harrow Council’s new Conservative administration has served up exciting plans which would improve the borough’s public tennis courts to an ace-worthy standard, including 11 courts that  are currently unplayable due to the poor condition.

At Thursday’s Cabinet meeting, councillors agreed to the next round of discussions to ensure a winning partnership with the Lawn Tennis Association (LTA).

If the Council’s funding application is successful the 37 courts at 13 parks across Harrow will be revamped at no cost to council taxpayers.

During Wimbledon fortnight, Council leisure staff will take to centre court at parks across Harrow to talk to users about the mega upgrade plans which also include the introduction of pay and play charges, with fees in line with neighbouring boroughs.

Some free court sessions, and concessionary rates for under 16s over 65s and those with disabilities will be included. Park user groups and schools near the tennis courts will also be involved in the future discussions.

Cllr Jean Lammiman, cabinet member for Community and Culture, said:

“This is a fantastic opportunity to see the tennis courts in Harrow’s parks renovated, increasing participation in tennis in Harrow, and ensuring that the courts are maintained in the long term by being financially sustainable.

“Without the LTA money, the condition of the tennis courts in Harrow’s parks will continue to deteriorate and mean that they all become increasingly unplayable. We strongly believe the residents of Harrow want to be able to book a good standard court in advance, and we will ensure the youngest, oldest and those with disabilities are catered for.”

You can read more about the plans and talk to officers about them on:

  • Wed 29th June, 10-11am at Harrow Weald Recreation Ground
  • Sat 2nd July, 10-11am at Roxeth Recreation Ground
  • Mon 4th July, 6-7pm at Harrow Recreation Ground

The LTA would be paying for the works required, estimated to be around £445,000. Harrow will now discuss a grant agreement with the LTA and search for an external operator to run the courts.

The new operator would be required to introduce a coaching programme and a competitive league to support Harrow’s budding sports stars, launch a new booking system and introduce a pay-to-play structure to ensure funding is available for ongoing maintenance.

Improving the tennis courts will help to deliver the Council’s objective to address health inequality by increasing the opportunity for more people of all ages to play tennis in Harrow.

Harrow currently has physical activity levels that are below the London and national averages. 

Published: 24th June 2022