From today, community tennis groups across Scotland can register their interest to benefit from the LTA, Tennis Scotland and sportscotland’s £15 million joint fund, called Transforming Scottish Indoor Tennis. Communities who express interest should then collaborate with local partners to put together strong, joined up bids which demonstrate their plans to bring tennis to a wider local audience.
Launched in December 2016, the initiative aims to increase the number of people playing tennis in Scotland by doubling the number of indoor tennis courts as a long-term goal. The scheme in Scotland, which will be supported by partnership funding, is part of the LTA’s national initiative, Transforming British Tennis Together, which aims to make courts across Scotland, England, and Wales more useable and accessible over the next ten years. The national initiative is the biggest capital investment programme to transform grassroots tennis across Great Britain that the sport has ever seen. It aims to:
- - Double the number of indoor courts from 112 – 225 to increase available playing hours when it’s raining and when the sun has gone down
- - Fill the geographical gaps in indoor tennis provision that currently exist across Scotland
- - Support other innovative and creative ideas that meet local demand
The LTA, alongside sportscotland, and in partnership with Tennis Scotland, is asking community groups with a real passion for tennis to partner with local organisations, local government, businesses and volunteers to develop a community tennis network, and bid for funding to transform their local tennis infrastructure. Expressions of interest, logged via the dedicated online hub on www.tennisscotland.org/facilities, will then receive guidelines and criteria for their submissions over the coming weeks. Interested organisations should then liaise with their Tennis Scotland Regional Development Manager and sportscotland, to develop their proposals.
Alastair Marks, Participation Director at the LTA, said, “The reaction to the news that we were making this funding available was incredibly positive, so we are now really looking forward to hearing from Scottish community groups who want to work with us to transform their local tennis courts into thriving social hubs. It’s time for volunteers, community tennis groups and local organisations to come together and let us know how we can use this investment to make a real impact, and get more people playing tennis.”
Mel Young, Chairman of sportscotland, said: “I urge those who want to make a positive contribution to Scottish tennis to register their interest by applying for investment through the Transforming Scottish Indoor Tennis Fund. This partnership, created through a £7.5 million sportscotland contribution from our National Lottery investment stream, and LTA’s £7.5 million investment, will have a transformational impact on Scottish tennis by providing more and better opportunities for people to get involved in tennis. Importantly, it will also increase tennis’ accessibility across all areas of our society.”
Blane Dodds, Chairman of Tennis Scotland, added: “This level of funding will bring tennis to life within Scotland, and Tennis Scotland will do everything in its power to ensure the investment is maximised so the whole country benefits. We are delighted to be working with the LTA and sportscotland to make this happen. To those considering applying for funding, I remind you that this is a once in a life time opportunity for tennis facilities to become the social hubs of our communities once again.”
Aileen Campbell, Minister for Public Health and Sport, said: “We all appreciate the variability of Scotland’s climate, meaning it is not always conducive to playing tennis outdoors. That is why this initiative to increase the number of indoor courts is so important, it guarantees far better opportunities to participate and enjoy tennis all year round.”
As Scotland’s tennis infrastructure starts to see the benefits of this transformative investment, tennis programmes supported by the LTA and Tennis Scotland, such as Tennis for Kids and Judy Murray’s Tennis on the Road, will continue to play a key role in attracting more children into the sport. Tennis for Kids has already delivered thousands of free tennis courses and rackets to children across Scotland. Great British Tennis Weekends, now in their fifth year, deliver hundreds of free open days to families across Scotland. Inspiring and training Scotland’s coaches will be crucial in maintaining this momentum, so coaching schemes such as She Rallies, which focuses on training female coaches, will help develop the future generation’s potential.
All tennis clubs, parks, local government, volunteers, coaches and businesses in Scotland who are interested in registering their interest in bidding for the funds to transform their local tennis courts should visit www.tennisscotland.org/facilities.