Tired tennis courts and a dilapidated playground in a popular Sheffield park are to be revamped with a new activity centre.
Sheffield Council is looking for a partner to develop the centre, which will revitalize the tennis courts and multipurpose play area in Hillsborough Park.
At least three courts will be upgraded with LED lighting, there will be smaller “padel” courts and the play area will be redone and redesigned for football, basketball and netball.
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Other facilities include accessible washrooms and a cafe. The council is in discussion with Age UK who have recently redeveloped the old coach house in the park and opened the Depot Cafe.
The council said the new sports facilities will attract more visitors, so there is room for cafes up and down the park and they are considering how the new cafe would complement Age UK’s.
A consultation showed that there is interest in netball, basketball, table tennis, petanque, mini golf and informal activities. Indoor or covered outdoor activity space could be included.
Major investment in tennis
In 2017, the council and the Lawn Tennis Association launched a program that has led to significant investment and improvements to the city’s tennis courts.
This was the LTA’s largest investment in providing outdoor tennis in the country and the first such park tennis program.
Parks Director Lisa Firth said: “To capitalize on these high quality developments, we are looking to add a hub to the existing tennis courts, act as an anchor and further support future supply. of tennis.
“The hub will serve as the base for a coaching staff, develop skills and provide greater exposure and supply of tennis across the city.
“Participation levels have increased significantly during and after the pandemic, but the current model will not provide sufficient revenue to maintain and run courts and outreach programs.
“The hub will allow us to generate revenue that will cover annual maintenance costs and fund public tennis courts in the future.
“With the financial challenges facing the consultancy, we need to look at other ways to provide high quality services.”