Major expansion plans for tennis club
WOODHALL Spa Tennis Club is planning a major expansion programme in a bid to produce the stars of the future.
The club, based in Jubilee Park, currently has almost 200 members and is determined to attract more youngsters to cash in on what officials have called the “Andy Murray factor”.
It is planning to extend the existing clubhouse, improve floodlighting and build two new courts on land currently occupied by a putting green.
The bulk of the £150,000 costs will come from grants, but the club needs a 25-year lease from Woodhall Spa Parish Council which currently owns the park.
A long-term lease would enable the tennis club to apply for official “Clubmark” status which, in turn, would make it easier to apply for grants from the likes of the Lawn Tennis Association, WREN and Sport England.
Chairman, David Little, who outlined the club’s plans at a meeting of the parish council, said the expansion was “essential” and would stop the drain of top young talent to rival clubs in the area, including Horncastle.
Mr Little said the club operated five ‘senior’ teams who were currently challenging for honours in their respective leagues.
He revealed membership had increased from 120 three years ago to a current figure of 177.
He said the club was determined to attract more young members and added that the improvement in facilities - along with additional coaches - would help.
Mr Little said: “At present, we have some very good young players but they do tend to move elsewhere because those clubs have better facilities.
“Horncastle, for example, have new courts and are pressing ahead with plans for a new clubhouse.
“There is a real buzz about the club at the moment. There is also the Andy Murray factor in that more and more youngsters want to start playing tennis.
“We need to encourage them and their parents. I’ve no doubt that if we do get the go ahead to expand, those numbers would increase.”
Mr Little said grants would account for £135,000, leaving the club to cover the remaining £15,000. He said the LTA and Sport England had already indicated favourable support.
The two new courts would be primarily used to coach players under the age of 10 while plans would see the size of the clubhouse increased by 80 per cent.
Councillors agreed in principle to the plans. They also pointed out any lease could be effected by on-going doubts surrounding future ownership of the park.
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Friday 24 May 2013
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