Swindon Community Tennis took part in the Great British Tennis Weekend on 17 May to proudly showcase 10 newly resurfaced full size outdoor courts, a four-court mini-tennis zone and new pavilion and community café at its St Mark’s Recreation Ground base.
The brand new pavilion, which has only recently been completed, replaces the previous mobile cabins and was funded by Swindon Borough Council using £500,000 from Section 106 developer contributions.
The new building has been given a modern appearance to relate to its new location and to act as a focus for the park whicn has also been improved with upgraded paths, an enlarged basketball court, works to trees and a much improved frontage to Whitehouse Road. The latter involves opening up the park to the road by replacing a hedge with attractive iron railings. This has not only made people more aware of the park and its facilities, but also made it safer.
The Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) has provided further improvements by the way of £80,000 in grant funding for the resurfacing of all the tennis courts.
Swindon Community Tennis moved to the St Mark’s site five years ago and has been working in partnership with the Council and the LTA to improve the provision of tennis and the facilities at the recreation ground. The Club is due to take on a 25-year lease from the Council to run the tennis facilities on a permanent basis.
Tim Poole, Chairman of Swindon Community Tennis, said: “This is an exciting time for the Swindon community, not just those already interested in tennis. The partnership has delivered what has to be the premier tennis facilities in Swindon following significant investment by all partners.
“The beauty of it is that we can now offer opportunities for tennis for everyone in the community at all levels catering for people of all abilities from family fun to competitive league tennis. Importantly, at £30 a year we are offering really affordable and accessible tennis to all. For a family of four this equates to about 15 pence per week per person.”
James Deem, LTA Regional Tennis Participation Manager, said: “It has been fantastic to work with colleagues from Swindon Borough Council and Swindon Community Tennis to bring this project to fruition.
“This is one of the best public tennis facilities in the country and it’s a fantastic opportunity for anyone in Swindon to pick up a racket at an affordable price.
For details about using the facilities: swindoncommunitytennis.org.uk