Oxford City Council and the LTA have today announced a partnership to invest in and refurbish public park tennis courts at Hinksey Park and Botley Park.
In total, two park tennis venues will be renovated, with investment of £100,000 helping ensure that quality facilities are available for the local community.
The project is part of a nationwide investment by the UK Government and LTA Tennis Foundation, delivered by the LTA, to refurbish public tennis courts across Great Britain, and open up the sport to many more people. This investment will see thousands of existing park tennis courts in poor or unplayable condition brought back to life for the benefit of communities across the country through renovation works, and improved court accessibility with new gate-access technology and booking systems.
Park tennis courts are vital in providing opportunities for children and adults to get active, delivering significant physical and mental health and wellbeing benefits to participants. Accessible facilities in parks are particularly critical to opening up the sport to those from lower socioeconomic backgrounds and women and girls.
Alongside the investment, Oxford City Council and its appointed partner Premier Tennis will also work with the LTA to deliver a range of activity across the park sites. 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.
When the refurbished courts reopen there will be a £7.00 charge to book a court for adults and £4.50 charge for U17’s. Previously these have been free to book, the new charge aims to minimize no-shows, keep the courts in use as much as possible.
It brings the fees and charges in line with the City Council’s other courts, which are all charged for. Free sessions will also be available from Premier Tennis to ensure as many people as possible have an opportunity to enjoy the courts.
The park venues being renovated are: Hinksey Park and Botley Park, whilst Alexadra Park, Bury Knowle Park, Florence Park, and Cutteslowe Park are also still available to book online via Premier Tennis making it easy to find and book a court or activity.
All courts and sessions at all sites will be available to book online via the Premier Tennis Website https://tennisoxfordshire.com/
Work at Hinksey Park and Botley Park is anticipated to start in late April 2023 and be completed by the end of June 2023.
Councillor Chewe Munkonge, Cabinet Member for Parks and Leisure at Oxford City Council, said:
“This investment will give us high quality all-weather courts, thanks to the LTA and DCMS funding. We’re committed to providing Oxford’s residents with a range of different ways to be active, which is really important for good health.”
“We will be introducing a small charge for these courts, which we hope will reduce the number of no-shows for bookings. Paying a small fee will encourage people to only book when they know they can play. Premier Tennis are providing free sessions so there are still free ways to play.”
Tom Lambert, Oxford Community Manager at Premier Tennis, said:
”We’re really excited with the upgraded facilities coming to Hinksey and Botley Parks. Following on from previous improvements at Florence Park, we’ve seen the difference new courts can make in the local community and our coaching team is ready to share the fun, fitness and friendship tennis offers to as many people as possible.”
Julie Porter, Chief Operating Officer at the LTA, said:
“We are delighted to be working with Oxford City 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 Oxford City 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.”