Improvements set to serve better tennis facilities at Stratton Park
Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council has given the go-ahead for work to begin on modernising the facility, starting on Monday 20 July. Four of the six courts are expected to be closed from Monday 27 July for a number of weeks while they are resurfaced, repainted and made more accessible for people with a disability.
Two of the courts will remain available to use for free. Booking is recommended by visiting www.clubspark.lta.org.uk/StrattonPark
Alternative tennis facilities to use during the Stratton Park improvements can be found at the Basingstoke Indoor Tennis Centre, operated by Totally Tennis in War Memorial Park.
Costing over £90,000, the improvement works will include newly-resurfaced tennis courts, new frames and gates containing remote access systems linked to WiFi and the Clubspark online booking system, new nets and posts and the installation of floodlights on two courts for use after dark.
The works are funded by £28,300 from developer contributions, £40,000 from Sport England, £16,900 from the LTA specifically for the remote access systems, and £10,000 from the resurfacing budget of the borough council’s operations team.
The courts will remain free to use for the first six months following the works, aiming to encourage residents from neighbouring areas to give tennis a try without a charge.
A small fee to use the courts, which will be low cost with a number of pricing options to meet residents’ needs, will be introduced from April 2021, subject to approval during the council’s annual fees and charges review in the early autumn. This is a condition of the external funding for the improvements and the introduction of a fee to use the courts will cover future maintenance costs.
Cabinet Member for Borough Development and Improvement Cllr Rebecca Bean said: “The council is pleased to provide funding for the improvements to the tennis facilities at Stratton Park. Not only will it bring the popular facility up to an acceptable standard, it will also encourage more participation in tennis in the borough and boost residents’ physical and mental wellbeing.
“Tennis is an excellent sport and the improvements will offer opportunities for more activities, possibly courses and coaching for people of all ages and abilities.”
Rob Peters, LTA Participation Development Partner in the South and South West, said: “This is fantastic news and we’re very pleased to be working with Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council to develop their park courts and help open tennis up to more local people.
“The SmartAccess gate system is a crucial part of our free offer to local authorities across the country to make their facilities sustainable in the long-term. Around 1.5 million people played in parks in the last 12 months, so this strategy is key to our vision of opening up tennis. It is vital that these venues are safeguarded to ensure they continue to serve as hubs to bring individuals and communities together through tennis, and we welcome any interest from other local authorities in helping achieve this.”