Boost for tennis in Bristol as £250m national investment is launched

July 28 2017

North Bristol is set to benefit as the Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) launches the biggest UK investment programme the sport has ever seen to transform grassroots tennis over the next ten years.

North Bristol is set to benefit as the Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) launches the biggest UK investment programme the sport has ever seen to transform grassroots tennis over the next ten years.

The Transforming British Tennis Together initiative will focus on making courts easier to book, accessible to all and ensure that rain and darkness no longer stop play.

Schoolchildren from Cotham School and children on the University of Bristol Performance Programme regularly use the courts at the Coombe Dingle Sports Complex and joined joined Simon Johnson of the LTA and Matt Birch of the University of Bristol to announce a historic £125 million investment into growing tennis participation. 

Communities in Redland and Bishopston are encouraged to come together and register their interest to receive funding to transform their local tennis courts.  

The £250m transformation of Britain’s tennis courts comes at a time of huge momentum in elite British tennis and unprecedented levels of interest and pride in the sport, which together have inspired many more people to pick up a racket.

 The LTA has committed to investing £125 million to improve community tennis facilities across the country, and plans to unlock a further £125 million through match funding from community networks with a shared vision for growing the game. Local communities and clubs from across the city can register their interest in the funding.

According to the LTA just 9.1% people in Bristol play tennis despite 21.4% of the local community showing an interest in the sport. Improving facilities and making them more accessible and usable is seen as key to meeting that demand and increasing participation.

Transforming British Tennis Together will see the LTA work in partnership with local communities in Bristol and the South West to double the number of covered and floodlit courts, install online booking and entry systems so everyone can book a tennis court easily from their mobile phone or tablet, refurbish courts, clubhouses and other social spaces and support other innovative and creative ideas that meet local demand.

Matt Birch, Director of Sport at the University of Bristol, said: "There couldn't be a better time for the LTA to announce this investment, with University of Bristol Tennis on a mission to transform its tennis offer for students, staff and the wider community. 

“We aim to create a welcoming facility at the Coombe Dingle Sports Complex for the people of Bristol and surrounding areas, with 300 new places available for children and adults in the autumn, and the LTA's ground-breaking 'Transforming British Tennis Together' initiative will enable us to continue to grow and improve."  

Simon Johnson, LTA Head of Region for the South West said: "This is an exciting and transformational opportunity for tennis in Bristol. We know that more and more people are enjoying the sport and there is a real appetite for the improvement and regeneration of local courts to make tennis more accessible to everyone.”

The LTA is now calling on tennis clubs, parks, local government, volunteers, coaches and businesses to come together and register their interest in bidding for the funds to transform their local tennis courts.  For more information visit www.lta.org.uk/TBTT