Bradford Council and the Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) have announced a partnership to invest in and refurbish public park tennis courts in the Bradford & District area. In total, ten park tennis venues will be renovated, with an investment of £462,000 to ensure that quality facilities are available for the local community.
The project is part of a nationwide initiative by the UK Government and LTA Tennis Foundation, administered by the LTA, to refurbish public tennis courts across Great Britain, and make the sport more accessible to a wider audience. This investment will revive thousands of existing park tennis courts in poor or unplayable condition, benefiting communities across the country through renovation efforts. It will also enhance court accessibility with new gate-access technology and booking systems.
Park tennis courts play a crucial role in providing opportunities for both children and adults to stay active, offering significant physical and mental health benefits to participants. Accessible facilities in parks are particularly important in broadening access to the sport for those from lower socioeconomic backgrounds, as well as for women and girls.
In addition to the financial investment, Bradford Council will collaborate with the LTA to organize various activities at the park sites. This will include weekly free park tennis sessions for all ages and skill levels, with equipment provided, eliminating the need for participants to bring their own racket or find a partner. Local Tennis Leagues will also offer friendly and sociable opportunities for competition and physical activity.
The park venues slated for renovation include Bowling Park, Lister Park, Peel Park, Haworth Central Park, Northcliffe Park, Myrtle Park, Cottingley Manor Park, Temple Rhydding Park, Silsden Park, and Menston Park. Additionally, the tennis courts at Oxenhope Sports Association and Ilkley Lido will be available for online booking.
All courts and sessions at these sites can be booked online through the LTA website [www.lta.org.uk/play], simplifying the process of finding and reserving a court or activity.
Works commenced earlier this month at several sites and are anticipated to be concluded by Spring 2024, with final painting work contingent on favourable weather conditions.
Cllr Sarah Ferriby, Bradford Council’s Executive Member for Healthy People and Places, said: “Access to good sports facilities, wherever you live in the district, is key to our ambition to support people’s Health and Wellbeing. It is great to work with the LTA to see the investment and breathe new life into our tennis courts and work on opening up tennis to more of our residents.”
Julie Porter, Chief Operating Officer at the LTA, said: “We are delighted to be working with Bradford Metropolitan District 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 Bradford Metropolitan District Council to ensure that the local community have a range of accessible opportunities to get on the court and open up our sport to many more people.”