10:30 a.m. April 27, 2022
North Somerset has seen an increase in the number of people playing tennis following a five-year renovation process at Weston.
The refurbished Ashcombe Park tennis courts were unveiled last spring and have since received over 4,300 bookings.
Last year, a £100,000 investment was injected into the courts by Sport England, North Somerset Council and the Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) to provide ‘state-of-the-art gate access technology’.
North Somerset Council’s leisure manager told the Mercury that renovating the once derelict courts has proven to be more successful than she had imagined.
Karlie Phillips said: “The need to bring the Ashcombe Park tennis courts back into use has been identified as part of the council’s Playing Pitch strategy.
“Working with the LTA, the board committed funds and secured funding from Sport England to complete a comprehensive refurbishment of the courts which were in very poor condition and barely used.
“The three courts recently refurbished with Gate Access Technology, an easy online booking system and annual subscriptions, are proving extremely popular.
“Their use has exceeded expectations and we are developing new opportunities for training sessions and leagues.”
More than 250 households have pledged to pay the courts’ annual £35 pass.
Phillips added: “This project has been a great example of working in partnership.
“It has provided local people with high quality tennis courts and the council with income to cover ongoing maintenance costs.”
A sinking fund has been set up by the council to secure the long term future of the courts and a series of projects are in the pipeline for the upcoming summer season.
Projects such as the LTA Open Court program which will aim to make the sport more accessible to disabled or elderly residents.
James Deem, Parks Investment Delivery Partner at LTA, said: “It’s fantastic to see the results of the investment in the courts at Ashcombe Park and the number of people who come to play tennis.
“We look forward to working with North Somerset Council as part of their continued drive to open up tennis to the local community.”
To book a court visit www.clubspark.lta.org.uk/AshcombePark