Lane Tennis Club at Widnes Tennis Academy is among 148 local sports projects to secure a share of £10 million of National Lottery funding from Sport England’s Inspired Facilities fund.
Since 2011, Inspired Facilities has been helping breathe new life into tired community sports facilities and converting existing buildings into venues suitable for grassroots sport.
Lane Tennis Club received £50,000 of National Lottery funding to floodlight 3 outdoor tennis courts, in order to help more people play tennis throughout the year. However, with careful planning, support from Cheshire LTA and Halton’s Sports Development Team, they have managed to floodlight all 6 of their outdoor courts!
The Club’s membership numbers have more than tripled since Widnes Tennis Academy opened in 2007, and more court time is required to meet the increasing demand from both Club members and non-members wishing to hire courts at peak times.
Sport England Property Director, Charles Johnston, said: “The Inspired Facilities Fund has had a huge impact on grassroots sport across the country. Since 2011, we’ve invested £94 million into more than 1,800 projects to improve and refurbish sports clubs and transform non-sporting venues into vibrant community sports clubs.
“It’s great to see Lane Tennis Club join the long list of successful clubs to benefit from this fund.”
Club Chairman, Neil Barber, said: “We are delighted to have secured this investment, which means we can use our outdoor tennis courts through the dark winter nights and allow us to run a winter league for teams from across Cheshire and Merseyside.”
Local MP, Derek Twigg, said: “This is great news and a boost to such an important sports facility that will now enable outdoor tennis to be played throughout the year. Congratulations to the Lane Tennis Club on their achievement and for the excellent facilities they provide for our community.”
Applying for funding has never been easier. Based on feedback from previous applicants, the Inspired Facilities Fund is now an open programme which means projects can submit applications as soon as they are ready rather than being restricted by a specific deadline. To find out more and bid, visit www.sportengland.org/inspiredfacilities.
To celebrate 'The Big Switch On,’ everyone is invited to participate in a FREE ‘Cardio Tennis’ session on Friday 22nd of January from 6.30-7.30pm and to the Official Opening shortly after that. Cardio tennis is basically a tennis session, led by a coach, where being active and having fun are the focus. No previous experience is needed and families can play together.
Weather permitting, the tennis will take place outside, under the new lights. All equipment will be provided, just wear sports clothing to take part. The tennis will take place on the indoor courts, if the weather is bad, so come and try Cardio Tennis, whatever the weather.