West Sussex tennis courts transformation is complete - 'Potentially become the next Andy Murray or Emma Raducanu'

Two popular tennis courts in West Sussex have reopened following a major upgrade.

Tennis facilities in Tarring and Shoreham-by-Sea have been given a ‘new lease of life’, as part of a joint project between Adur & Worthing Councils and the Lawn Tennis Association (LTA).

The tennis courts at Church House Grounds in Church Road and Buckingham Park have officially reopened following their transformation and are ready to host players of all ages and abilities.

A spokesperson for Adur and Worthing Councils said: “The courts have benefitted from a complete resurfacing, new nets and gate-access technology which makes it easier for players to find, book and get on court.

"Temporary lines have been painted on the courts, which will close for a short time in late spring for a full repainting when the weather conditions allow.”

The £253,000 refurbishment project was funded by the councils, government and the LTA Tennis Foundation, which contributed £98,000 of the total funding.

Through the Parks Tennis Project, the LTA is delivering a £30 million investment in parks tennis facilities across the UK, which has been used to transform six courts across the local area – ‘providing a significant boost to sporting facilities’.

A councils spokesperson added: “To welcome new players to the revamped facilities, the councils will work with local clubs, coaches and the LTA to deliver a mix of free and low cost activities designed to encourage residents to pick up a racket and enjoy the courts.

"This includes the LTA’s Free Park Tennis, which are free, social tennis sessions, on weekend mornings at 10am delivered by local volunteers which are open to players of all ages, playing levels and experience. Equipment is provided at these sessions.”

The new courts will also host local tennis leagues, giving people the opportunity to get involved in ‘friendly and social’ local competitions.

A free community slot running from 9am to 11am on weekdays will be bookable at both the Church House Grounds and Buckingham Park courts, as well as Homefield Park in Worthing.

Outside of these hours the courts will be available to book via the LTA Play Tennis website for £8.50 per hour for casual players.

Those looking to play more regularly can purchase a household annual pass for £57, meaning households that enjoy the courts on average once a week can do so for less than £1.25 per court per hour.

Funds raised will go towards ensuring the courts are maintained to a high standard for many years to come, the councils said.

Emma Evans, Adur’s cabinet member for the environment and leisure, said: “The tennis facilities at Buckingham Park have always been well used, so it’s brilliant that the courts have revived following the renovation works.

“On behalf of the community, I would like to thank the LTA Tennis Foundation for its large input towards the works. I can’t wait to see the courts in the summer once they have received their final coat of paint.”

Rita Garner, Worthing’s cabinet member for culture and leisure, said: “It’s fantastic that the all-new tennis facilities at Church House Grounds are now bookable and ready for action.

“It’s vital that our communities have sporting opportunities available to them to not only to enjoy the physical and mental benefits, but potentially release a hidden talent or passion for a game they may not have played before.

“I’d like to thank the LTA Tennis Foundation for its contribution to this project.”

Julie Porter, Chief Operating Officer at the LTA, said the courts have reopened after ‘months of hard work’.

She added: “We’re delighted to see park tennis courts across Adur & Worthing 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, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Sport, Gambling and Civil Society, said the government is ‘committed to levelling up access to sport’ which is ‘so important for the nation’s physical and mental health’.

He added: “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 Adur and Worthing.

"These improved tennis facilities will provide the local community with fun opportunities to get active and potentially become the next Andy Murray or Emma Raducanu."

To book a court at Church House Grounds or Buckingham Park, please visit the LTA Play Tennis website: https://www.lta.org.uk/book.