New year, new balls, please! Park tennis courts see major improvements
- 16 Jan 2024
Sutton residents wanting to burn off their festive feasts can now enjoy new, improved tennis courts at six parks across the borough.
The courts have reopened after a £415,000 renovation, delivered by the Lawn Tennis Association and funded by Sutton Council, the Government and the LTA Tennis Foundation.
The LTA’s Parks Tennis Project is delivering the biggest-ever investment in parks tennis facilities across Britain and has transformed 20 courts across Sutton, providing a significant boost to sporting facilities for residents locally and the perfect opportunity to put those new year resolutions into practice by getting active.
The new-look tennis courts are at the following Sutton parks:
- Beddington Park
- Corrigan Avenue Recreation Ground
- Cuddington Rec Ground
- Mellows Park
- Stanley Park
- Sutton Common Recreation Ground
The courts have undergone extensive improvement works, including resurfacing, repainting, new fencing, new nets and new gate systems.
The Council is working in partnership with Premier Tennis, who will manage the courts and deliver tennis coaching and encourage people to try tennis in Sutton as the borough gets match-ready for Wimbledon 2024.
This year will see the introduction of weekly Free Park Tennis sessions at various locations across the borough - with all the required equipment provided - making tennis fully accessible to everyone in Sutton. These sessions will run alongside a tailored community coaching programme to allow players of all ages and abilities to take up and develop their tennis skills. These include Rusty Rackets beginner courses, Bootcamp Tennis, a social Hit & Mix session, as well as a wide range of junior playing opportunities.
For the existing competitive players in the local community, the new courts will host a new Local Tennis League, giving people the opportunity to get involved in friendly and social local competitions. For more information about all upcoming sessions, please visit the new local website Tennis Sutton.
All courts will be available to book via Tennis Sutton and the LTA website. The new booking system and gate access technology means it is now easier to get on court by booking in advance to guarantee availability. Fifteen percent of all court booking slots will be made available for free with priority given to those eligible for concessionary rates. The remaining slots will be charged at £6 an hour. A household Annual Pass will also be available for just £45 giving weekly access to all courts. These small fees will provide vital funds to ensure that the courts can be maintained at their new high standard for years to come.
FreeTurn-up-and-play tennis sessions will remain at the following sites: Carshalton Park, Cheam Park, Royston Park, Rosehill Park and Roundshaw Park.
The total project cost is made up of investment of £315,000 from the UK Government and LTA Tennis Foundation, with £100,000 invested by Sutton Council.
Councillor Barry Lewis, Chair of the Council’s Environment & Sustainable Transport Committee, said:
“In the run-up to Wimbledon 2024, Sutton is going for nothing less than the tennis Grand Slam this new year!
“We hope this investment to transform our tennis courts in Sutton’s parks will really help our residents ace it by getting active and having fun.
“It could be game, set and match with the funding to ensure the courts remain in top condition, free coaching sessions with equipment provided and opening the sport up to new players in Sutton.
“It could even help our residents become that wildcat future tennis champion!”
Julie Porter, Chief Operating Officer at the LTA, said:
“After months of hard work, we’re delighted to see park tennis courts across Sutton officially back open to the public, and in better shape than ever.
“Public tennis courts are such vital facilities for getting active and we want as many people as possible, of all ages and abilities, to pick up a racket and enjoy playing tennis. Thanks to this investment the sport will be opened up to more players, for years to come.”
Stuart Andrew MP, Sports Minister, said:
"We are committed to levelling up access to sport which is so important for the nation’s physical and mental health.
"The Government and the LTA are working together to deliver thousands of refurbished courts across Great Britain, supported by £30 million of investment including in Sutton.
"These improved tennis facilities in Sutton will provide the local community with fun opportunities to get active and potentially become the next Andy Murray or Emma Raducanu."
James Auckland, Director of Premier Tennis, said:
“We’re truly delighted to be partnering SuttonCouncil and working alongside the LTA to deliver a range of activity across Suttons’ Park sites.
“This will include weekly free park tennis sessions for all ages, playing levels and experience where equipment is provided, helping to make tennis truly accessible to all community groups across the borough.”