Park tennis courts in Cardiff set for refurbishment


Tennis courts at six parks in Cardiff will undergo a complete transformation for the benefit of local residents as part of a partnership between Cardiff Council and the Lawn Tennis Association (LTA).

The tennis courts at Heath Park, Roath Park Pleasure Gardens and Hailey Park will all benefit from resurfacing, repainting and new nets, as will Llandaff Fields, Victoria Park and Rumney Hill Gardens, as announced by the Council last year.

Over £730,000 is being invested as part of this boost to local sports facilities, with £516,000 coming through the LTA's Park Tennis Project and the remaining funds from Sport Wales and Cardiff Council.                           

The refurbishments are part of the LTA's Park Tennis Project, through which it is delivering a £30million investment by the UK Government and LTA Tennis Foundation to transform thousands of courts across Wales, Scotland and England. Over 1,500 courts have been completed so far as part of the project.

The refurbishments at all six locations - including eight existing but currently unplayable courts at Llandaff Fields - and the development of two new courts at each of Rumney Hill Gardens and Hailey Park, are due to begin in the coming weeks, with the new and improved facilities ready to use ahead of Wimbledon.

A combination of free and low cost tennis is expected to be introduced across the sites, which will be operated by Tennis Wales in the Park using a model similar to that which has run successfully at Heath Park for several years. Currently, Family Passes at Heath Park cost £39 per year, Student Passes are £19 per year and hourly hire is available for more casual groups of players, at £4.50 per court per hour.

These hire costs compare favourably to netball, hockey, football, rugby, squash and other sports in the city. The proceeds will be used to ensure the courts remain well maintained in the future.

Alongside this, Cardiff Council and Tennis Wales in the Park will also work with the LTA to run a calendar of free trial opportunities, open days and free coaching throughout the year. This will include weekly organised free park tennis sessions for all ages, playing levels and experience where equipment is provided, meaning that people will not need someone to play with or their own racket. Local Tennis Leagues will also provide friendly, sociable, opportunities to get active through local competition. 

The refurbished courts will all be available to book through the LTA Play Tennis website, making it easier for players to find, book and get on court.

Cabinet Member for Culture, Parks and Events, Cllr Jennifer Burke, said:"Investment by the LTA and Tennis Wales in the courts at Heath Park transformed the site from one with very little tennis activity, into a vibrant tennis hub with over 900 players enjoying the courts.

"It's really exceeded our expectations, so it's exciting that with this further investment, the scheme can be rolled out to more areas of the city and help bring the sport to even more people."

"The ambition is to improve the customer experience, grow the numbers of people playing the game, and create safe places to play by reducing anti-social behaviour, vandalism and misuse of the courts."

"Importantly, Tennis Wales in the Park will re-invest any money raised from playing fees into the courts so they are maintained to a high level, ensuring people continue to have a great place to learn and enjoy the game in the future, and into providing programmes for local community groups and activities to encourage people to try tennis for the first time."

Julie Porter, Chief Operating Officer at the LTA, said:"We are delighted to be working with Cardiff Council to improve their park tennis facilities and provide more opportunities for anyone to pick up a racket and get active.

"This investment is part of the UK Government and LTA's Parks' Tennis Project, and will mean that courts will be available for people to use for years to come. We will also be working closely with the council to ensure that the local community have a range of accessible opportunities to get on court, and open up our sport to many more people."