The Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) is proposing to seek funding on behalf of City Council to improve facilities at Moor Park, Haslam Park and Ashton Park.
All three sites are in need of refurbishment and town hall bosses have been told the works, costing around £ 150,000, could be paid for from an LTA fund if the local authority accepts a new court management system using an electronic entry system. to fight against abuse and vandalism.
The council’s cabinet will be asked to approve the grant application at its meeting next week.
If successful, the improvements will not cost Preston a dime, although the authority will have to pay an annual fee to cover the maintenance of the entrance gates at each site – at a total cost of £ 1,800.
City council said it had worked with the LTA for several years on a program to improve access to tennis in Preston.
As early as 2012, the LTA commissioned a report on council-owned tennis facilities which found that resurfacing, court markings, netting upgrades and lighting improvements were needed to “increase the participation of the audience and improve the gaming experience ‘in sports.
Another 2019 survey by the Central Lancashire Play Pitch Strategy (PPS) also identified issues with the courts.
A report to be considered by the cabinet next Wednesday states: “The courts of Moor Park, Haslam and Ashton Parks in Preston have been identified as places where latent demand is high and at a level at which the LTA wishes to expand sites to provide it. investments and a sustainable operating model. “
Moor Park, which has six tennis courts on its St Thomas’s Road site, is classified as in poor condition and in need of “major refurbishment”. Four of its courts have wire netting, while the other two do not.
“The surfaces are failing or failing, and the fence is damaged and difficult to maintain to a safe level. The site also attracts antisocial behavior which may be linked to its lack of use for sport,” the report said.
A small multipurpose play area could also be noticed to offer two junior courts without nets.
The sites of Haslam Park (three courts) and Ashton Park (two courts) are deemed to be in “standard” condition, but would benefit from smaller scale investment.
The LTA says £ 100,000 needs to be spent on Moor Park to upgrade its tennis facilities, while Haslam and Ashton Parks only need £ 25,000 each.
“These three sites have been identified as the Council-owned sites with the most potential to benefit from investment and the implementation of a new sustainable operating model,” the report said.
Under the agreement, the sites would all remain in the ownership and maintenance of the council, although the LTA would arrange for a company to manage them.
A condition for receiving this funding is the establishment of a new management system.
This would involve the installation of an entry system at all three venues and players will have to book online and pay for the rental of the pitch. An access code or QR code would be required to open the door.
The hourly rates for the use of the courts will be reviewed every 12 months. Courts are envisaged to be free between 7 a.m. and 3 p.m. Monday to Friday and cost £ 2 per hour between 3 p.m. and 10 p.m. on weekdays and 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. on weekends.
The tennis courts in another part of Moor Park – located in the multi-purpose play area near the observatory – as well as the Frenchwood Recreation Ground will remain free and accessible at all times.