Thirteen tennis courts across four park tennis venues in Edinburgh, alongside a new booking system, have been officially launched after a £190,000 renovation.
This refurbishment was managed by the Lawn Tennis Association (LTA), and funded by the City of Edinburgh Council, the UK Government and LTA Tennis Foundation.
Today (September 14) at the tennis courts in Leith Links, Culture and Communities Convener, Councillor Val Walker, along with representatives from the LTA, saw in the official reopening of Edinburgh’s new courts. There was also an opportunity for schoolchildren from the nearby Leith Primary alongside young leader pupils from Leith Academy, and other members of the local community to pick up a racket and get on court for a range of tennis sessions.
The Council contributed £33,000 towards the total investment, with the remaining £157,000 funds coming from the UK Government and LTA Tennis Foundation grant.
The courts have undergone extensive work to ensure viability for years to come, including resurfacing, repainting, new fencing, and a new gate system. This nationwide programme of investment is seeing thousands of existing park tennis courts in poor or unplayable condition brought back to life for the benefit of communities across the country, providing vital opportunities for children and adults to get active.
As part of the partnership, the Council’s Parks and Greenspace service will manage the courts and adopt the LTA’s Clubspark booking system to manage community access which will be connected to a smart access gate at each of the refurbished venues.
The new booking systems and gate access technology means it is now easier to get on court by booking in advance to guarantee availability. The small booking fee of £1 will ensure that the courts are maintained at their new high standard for years to come. The LTA and the Council will work together to ensure free park tennis sessions are also available on the courts providing regular opportunities for anyone to pick up a racket and play.
As well as weekly free park tennis sessions, with equipment provided, the new courts will host Local Tennis Leagues, giving people the opportunity to get involved in friendly and social local competitions.
The refurbishment works for courts at Inverleith, Victoria Park, and Leith Links have now been completed. Works at St Margaret’s Park are expected to be completed in the coming weeks.
Residents and visitors will be able to begin using these courts immediately, with the online booking system launching tomorrow (September 15).
Culture and Communities Convener, Councillor Val Walker said:
I was delighted to attend today’s launch at Leith Links and meet the local schoolchildren who will be some of the many in the community who will benefit from these newly refurbished courts. It is fantastic that courts at three out of four of the parks, Inverleith, Victoria Park, and Leith Links have now had works competed and have reopened, with St Margaret’s Park expected in the near future.
We very much welcome the funding boost that the LTA project will bring to the city’s provision for tennis. Working together we’re investing in and improving four of our park tennis courts giving more opportunities for residents to get involved in the sport.
I am looking forward to seeing residents and visitors take advantage of these fantastic new facilities.
Julie Porter, Chief Operating Officer at the LTA, said:
After months of hard work, we’re delighted to see park tennis courts across Edinburgh 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.
Stuart Andrew MP, Sports Minister, said:
We are committed to levelling up access to sport which is so important for the nation’s physical and mental health.
The Government and the LTA are working together to deliver thousands of refurbished courts across Great Britain, supported by £30 million of investment including in £189,217 in the City of Edinburgh Council.
These improved tennis facilities in Edinburgh will provide the local community with fun opportunities to get active and potentially become the next Andy Murray or Emma Raducanu.
Blane Dodds, Tennis Scotland Chief Executive, said:
With tennis participation and membership in Scotland at record levels, it’s important that we continue to invest in facilities to grow capacity.
Park facilities are key to ensuring tennis is accessible to all, so we are delighted that these park courts in Edinburgh have opened following refurbishment.
The appetite for tennis in Scotland has never been higher and these revamped courts, along with a number of other facilities being built and refurbished around the country, will help make sure more people are able to get access and play tennis across Scotland.