Ashton Park, Haslam Park and Moor Park now ‘pay-to-play’ tennis courts

Posted on - 13th August, 2023 - 8:00am | Author - | Posted in - Moor Park, Parks, Politics, Preston Council, Preston News, Recreation, Sport, Uncategorized, What's On in Preston
Moor Park’s renovated courts Pic: Preston City Council

Three tennis courts in Preston parks are to now ‘pay-to-play’.

Preston City Council and the Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) have partnered for a major revamp of the courts at Moor Park, Ashton Park and Haslam Park.

Previously free-to-use the courts are now bookable and the city council says the fees will build up a fund to repair the courts in future years and maintain them to a higher standard.

Read more: Campaign group rallies against Ashton Park sports hub plans

A charge of £4-per-hour is being introduced, with a number of discounts available for those on benefits or who are under-16 or of pensioner age.

Nearly £250,000 has been spent on the new courts with £218,000 from the UK government and LTA Tennis Foundation and £25,000 from the city council.

Councillor Jennifer Mein, Cabinet member for health and wellbeing at Preston City Council, said: “The improvements to these tennis courts were just what was needed to enable access to quality outdoor sports facilities in Preston.

“Having liaised with a number of residents groups recently, the revised offer introducing concessions reduces the cost for those that are in employment but are on a low income, enabling play at the reduced rate at any time, alongside the times the courts are free to play on, seven days a week.

“Income generated guarantees a sustainable financial model for the operation of the tennis courts and ensures there is adequate income to the Council to provide for future maintenance of the facilities.

“There remains free access to sports facilities at the Council owned tennis courts at Moor Park multi-use games area near to the observatory, and at Frenchwood Recreation Ground. Access to these courts will remain free and accessible at all times.”

Read more: Moor Park to see Serpentine Lake upgrade and new pavilion

Chief operating officer at the LTA, Julie Porter, said: “We are delighted to be working with Preston City 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 Preston City 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.”

A free-of-charge bookings hour from 4pm to 5pm every day, including weekends, is in operation to encourage young people and families to play.

All bookings are via the LTA Tennis website.

Read morePreston parks retain their green flag status

The LTA will also be putting on a volunteer-led hour of free tennis on Saturday or Sunday between 10am to 11am at the new courts – a similar concept to Parkrun. Details on the LTA website.

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