Free to use tennis courts to open after £250k revamp

Green tennis courts on a blue foundation are framed by verdant undergrowth
The tennis courts at Kensington Gardens in Lowestoft are among those which have been recently refurbished following funding from the Lawn Tennis Association [GUY CAMPBELL/BBC]

Tennis courts in three Suffolk parks have been refurbished as part of a major £250,000 project.

Lowestoft Town Council’s tennis facilities have been undergoing a programme of renovation following funding from the Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) and the council.

The official launch event for the project will take place on 13 July at Denes Oval where the Lowestoft Tennis and Pickleball Club will be running an open day.

The council said the improvements were one of the "the biggest ever transformations of parks tennis facilities across Britain".

Red pickleball courts on a blue foundation surrounded by trees
Eight new pickleball courts have been created at the Denes Oval park where the Lowestoft Town Tennis and Pickleball Club will be running an open day on 13 July to encourage participation [GUY CAMPBELL/BBC]

The council said tennis courts at Normanston Park, Denes Oval and Kensington Gardens had undergone extensive work to ensure viability for years to come, including resurfacing, repainting and new smart gate systems.

Jamie Land, who lives opposite the newly-refurbished tennis courts at Kensington Gardens, said: "Before they were looking a bit old and ragged, but now they're looking superb and with the new online booking system it's great for the community and they're free to use."

A spokesperson for the council said: "This nationwide programme of investment is seeing thousands of existing park tennis courts in poor or unplayable condition brought back to life providing vital opportunities for children and adults to get active."

As well as weekly free park tennis sessions, with equipment provided, the new courts will host Local Tennis Leagues, giving people the chance to get involved in competitions.

All courts will be available to book for free via the LTA website although charges will apply for floodlight use at Denes Oval.

The official launch event at Denes Oval will see the Mayor of Lowestoft, Councillor Nasima Begum, be the first person to officially use the new electronic gates.

Ms Begum said: "It is wonderful that these much-loved tennis courts have received a major upgrade over the past few months ready for the summer.

"The town council has committed to keeping these tennis courts as free-to-access and I look forward to seeing everyone who lives in or visits Lowestoft enjoying playing tennis, both socially and competitively, using these high-quality facilities."

Julie Porter, chief operating officer at the LTA, said: "After months of hard work, we’re delighted to see park tennis courts across Lowestoft officially back open to the public, and in better shape than ever.

“Public tennis courts are such vital facilities for getting active and we want as many people as possible, of all ages and abilities, to pick up a racket and enjoy playing tennis. Thanks to this investment the sport will be opened up to more players, for years to come.”

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