Rothamsted Park in Harpenden is switched on to year-round tennis after three refurbished floodlit courts were unveiled at the facility at the weekend.
The courts, owned by St Albans City and District Council, have been resurfaced and provided with new fencing, nets and posts as part of redevelopment works funded by the Lawn Tennis Association (LTA).
There was cause for a double celebration as the LTA and Tennis Foundation announced that the improved tennis facility has also been awarded ‘Beacon’ status as part of the AEGON Parks Tennis programme in recognition of its high quality, affordable community tennis programmes.
The announcement was made as John Golding, LTA Tennis Development Officer for the East and Leo Tutt, LTA Tennis Development Manager for Hertfordshire presented the Beacon plaque to Councillor Julian Daly, Executive Leader of St Albans City and District Council.
The tennis club joins 196 Beacon sites across the country to achieve the national accolade which recognises the best community-focused facilities offering free and affordable tennis as part of the AEGON Parks Tennis programme. To achieve this status, facilities must also offer access to quality, affordable coaching as well as regular competitions for all ages and abilities.
Leo Tutt said: “The improved facility will provide new low cost year-round tennis playing opportunities for the whole community under the guidance of LTA qualified coaches.
“This will complement the existing tennis provision in the area and enable new players, both adults and juniors to take up the sport.”
The redevelopment work was made possible at the park courtesy of a £81,000 grant from the LTA, with support from Sport England.
Councillor Julian Daly, Executive Leader of St Albans City and District Council, said: “The ‘Beacon’ status recognises the significant improvements to the courts at Rothamsted and the Council’s extensive tennis programme for the community.
“We are extremely grateful to the LTA for their on going support following the recent fire at the Batchwood Golf and Tennis Centre.
“Arrangements have been made for the Batchwood tennis programme to be run at other facilities in the District and this funding from the LTA for Rothamsted is a great help.”