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Partnership to breathe new life into city tennis courts

Tennis racket resting on a tennis ball. Published on Wednesday, 31st May 2023

Norwich City Council and the LTA have today announced a partnership to invest in and refurbish tennis courts in three Norwich parks.

The project is part of a multimillion nationwide investment by the government and LTA Tennis Foundation, delivered by the LTA, to refurbish thousands of public tennis courts in poor or unplayable condition and open up the sport to more people.

It will see £222,447 from the government and the LTA Tennis Foundation invested in courts in Harford Park, Alderman Walker Park and Bowthorpe Park.

Councillor Adam Giles, portfolio holder for parks and open spaces at Norwich City Council, said: “This exciting new partnership between Norwich City Council and the LTA illustrates our continued commitment to provide accessible, affordable sports provision for Norwich’s residents.

“This investment will see our communities in Tuckswood and South Harford, the Heartsease, and Bowthorpe get the excellent sports facilities for their parks which they want and deserve”.

Alongside the work to refurbish the courts, Norwich City Council and the operator of the tennis programmes inthe parks, the National Tennis Association, will also work with the LTA to deliver a range of activities across these three sites.

This will include weekly organised free park tennis sessions for all ages, playing levels and experience where equipment is provided, meaning people will not need someone to play with or their own racket. Local Tennis Leagues will also provide friendly, sociable, opportunities to get active through local competition. 

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. The LTA has said ccessible facilities in parks are particularly critical to opening up the sport to those from lower socioeconomic backgrounds and women and girls.

Julie Porter, Chief Operating Officer at the LTA, said: “We are delighted to be working with Norwich 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 Norwich City Council to ensure that the local community has a range of accessible opportunities to get on court and open up our sport to many more people.

Work at Alderman Walker Park and Harford Park is anticipated to start on Friday (June 2) and be completed by August 2023, with work at Bowthorpe Park to follow later this year.

The city council would like to thank tennis players for their patience and understanding while this work is carried out. Bowthorpe Park courts will remain open to play on while the two other courts are closed. 

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