The project is part of a £30m 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 across Scotland, Wales and England.
Tennis courts at Memorial Park in Bridge of Allan and Kings Park will be renovated thanks to the funding which will provide high quality sporting facilities for the local community. The court surfaces at Kings Park will be transformed with porous tarmac and the blaes courts at Memorial Park will be replaced completely.
Alongside the investment, Stirling Council and Active Stirling will work alongside the LTA to deliver a range of activities across the park sites. This will include organised free weekly tennis sessions for all ages, playing levels and experience where equipment is provided. Local Tennis Leagues will also provide friendly, sociable opportunities to get active through local competition.
Encouraging people to get active
The renovated park venues will be available to book online including via the LTA website making it far easier to find and book a court or activity. Work on the sites is anticipated to start this month.
Environment, Transport and Net Zero Convener, Cllr Jen Preston said: “This funding is part of an incredibly welcome initiative to invest in excellent sporting facilities for community use. Any measures taken to encourage people to get active through participation in sport is to be celebrated and this investment will help to make tennis more accessible for all ages and abilities.
“This area has already produced tennis stars in the Murray brothers, and more recently Ali Collins who is making her mark in the game. More opportunities for people to pick up a racquet may very well produce new talent.”
More opportunities to pick up a racquet
Julie Porter, Chief Operating Officer at the LTA, said: “We are delighted to be working with Stirling Council to improve their park tennis facilities and provide more opportunities for anyone to pick up a racquet 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 Stirling 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.”
This investment will see thousands of existing park tennis courts in poor or unplayable condition brought back to life for the benefit of communities across the country through renovation works, and improved court accessibility with new gate-access technology and booking systems.
Investment into parks is one way in which the LTA is working to open tennis up across Scotland, in partnership with Tennis Scotland. The LTA, Tennis Scotland and sportscotland are also delivering the £15 million Transforming Scottish Indoor Tennis fund to provide more year-round community accessible tennis provision, including the development of new indoor facilities in Oriam and Moray which are currently underway.
Following the hosting of the Billie Jean King Cup Finals and Davis Cup Regional Finals in Glasgow last year, which were both attended by hundreds of school children, work is ongoing to significantly increase the number of young people who have the opportunity to pick up a racquet at school, through the LTA Youth programme.