Serving up improvements for Calderdale’s tennis courts

Tennis courts at Brighouse

Council-owned tennis courts across Calderdale could soon benefit from improvements, with funding available from the national Lawn Tennis Association (LTA).

At the meeting of Calderdale Council’s Cabinet on Monday 12 December, members will discuss plans to utilise funding of over £165,000 from the LTA to make significant improvements to tennis courts across the borough.

Calderdale has been identified as an area where the LTA believes participation in tennis can be increased. The borough has been allocated funds as part of a national programme which aims to bring existing tennis courts back up to a good playable standard for the benefit of local communities.

There are currently 20 Council-owned tennis courts across eight sites in Calderdale. Courts at six of these sites have been identified as those which would particularly benefit from improvements, these are:

  • Centre Vale Park, Todmorden
  • Crow Wood Park, near Sowerby Bridge
  • Holmfield Recreation Ground
  • Millfold Recreation Ground/Soyland Tennis Club
  • Mixenden Park
  • Shelf Hall Park

Improvements would include resurfacing, the replacement of nets and posts and repainting. Each site would also have new fencing with gate access technology installed. This would allow participants to receive a generated pin code when a booking is made, making it easier to manage bookings and guarantee access.

The LTA has found that the introduction of a gate access system has been shown to increase participation and enhance the experience for users. For example, when the system was introduced in Manchester, site use more than doubled.

The operation of Calderdale courts in this way would provide an opportunity to simplify the booking process. It would also secure their long-term future, making the sport affordable and accessible with a percentage of free court time, low-cost pay-and-play, and affordable community coaching programmes.

If Cabinet approve the proposed improvements and accept the LTA funding, further consultation would take place with park groups and local tennis clubs. Any work would take place throughout 2023, with the national programme ending in March 2024.

Calderdale Council’s Cabinet Member for Public Services and Communities, Cllr Jenny Lynn, said:

“It’s great news that we have the opportunity to receive funding from the Lawn Tennis Association to improve courts across the borough.

“Tennis is a great way to keep fit and by improving the facilities available, we’d also be supporting our Active Calderdale mission to help people move more often.

“We’ve already seen an increase in participation levels at Brighouse following improvements at the site last year. With the help of this dedicated funding, we hope to replicate this across the borough and bring facilities back into use, to give more people, more opportunities to take part in this sport.”

The future of Calderdale parks’ tennis provision will be discussed at the meeting of Calderdale Council’s Cabinet on Monday 12 December 2022 at Halifax Town Hall, starting at 6pm. The meeting will also be streamed online at link).


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