Tennis courts at Moor Park, Haslam Park and Ashton Park are set to be improved thanks to £150,000 of funding.Advertisement
Preston City Council’s Parks and Streetscene Service has been working with the Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) in order to improve access and facilities in the city for a number of years.
Now a report to Cabinet is seeking approval for the LTA to apply to an LTA funding scheme on the Council’s behalf for a programme of externally funded improvements.
To receive the funding, a new gate entry system will need to be installed, with players required to book online and pay for court hire.
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While it’s proposed that the courts will be free to use from Monday to Friday 7am to 3pm, it will cost £2 per hour from Monday to Friday 3pm to 10pm and Saturday and Sunday 7am to 10pm.
The tennis courts at Moor Park, located in the multi-use games area near to the Observatory, and the Frenchwood Recreation Ground will remain free and accessible at all times.
All of the money raised will be reinvested by the LTA into the courts, including to provide community coaching. There will be some free sessions available.
The report says that, if the Council chooses not to accept the LTA funding, it will need to invest around £100,000 at Moor Park to maintain a safe standard, or £150,000 to bring the site to a playable condition.
In 2012 an LTA report on the Council’s tennis courts found work was needed, including resurfacing, court marking, fencing, net upgrading and potential lighting improvements. The 2019 Central Lancashire Play Pitch Strategy (PPS) also identified issues with the tennis courts.
While the courts at Haslam Park and Ashton Park were found to be in a standard condition, the St. Thomas Road tennis courts that form part of Moor Park were said to be in a poor condition.
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The works proposed by the LTA and associated costs are as follows:
While the Council will retain ownership and maintenance of the three sites, they will be managed by the LTA with an initial five-year agreement put in place.
The report can be viewed on the Preston City Council website.
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What do you think of the potential funding? Do you use the courts? Let us know in the comments.