Residents have backed exciting council plans to serve up a major improvement of the borough’s public tennis courts
- 57% of consultation respondees back plans to secure £445k Lawn Tennis Association grant
- Decision means 36 courts across borough will be brought up to a good playing standard
- Pay and play charges split respondees, but concessions to under 18s, over 65s, disabled people and those claiming Universal Credit promised
- Online booking and free coaching sessions will be introduced
- Courts will be ready ahead of the 2023 spring/summer season
Residents have backed exciting council plans to serve up a major improvement of 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 were told that 57% of respondees to a six-week consultation, that included four engagement events across the borough, supported the plans which will see 36 courts at 13 parks across Harrow revamped at no cost to council taxpayers.
Support was very high from residents who currently live near unplayable courts: 84% of respondents living near to Centenary Park were in favour of the plans, 74% in favour for those living near to Byron Recreation Ground, and 72% for those living near to Headstone Manor Recreation Ground.
As anticipated, support for pay and play charges, divided respondees almost equally. Some 50.9% of respondees were not in favour of any charging, but of the 49.1% who did support the requirement for some charges the majority (26.7%) specified £3-5 per hour.
Cllr Jean Lammiman, Cabinet member for community and culture said:
“We have a fantastic, once in a generation opportunity here to revamp our courts after a decade of neglect which will encourage more people than ever to use them, even if they don’t have their own racquet. We will keep prices as low as possible, with prices for the young and the elderly even lower. We look forward to offering this great opportunity to our residents to become the next Emma Raducanu or Dan Evans!”
A condition of the LTA funding grant is for an online booking system to be introduced, and arrangements for a sinking fund to ensure ongoing maintenance of the courts to keep them at a good playable standard.
The planned timescale for renovating the tennis courts and beginning a contract with a tennis operator to manage the refurbished courts would be by Spring 2023. The tennis courts are planned to be refurbished between January and March 2023.