Lichfield District Council is in talks with a local community tennis charity about joining forces to improve Beacon Park’s tennis facilities, to encourage more people to play.
Following the success of the Tennis For Free local initiative, which offers free coach-led training sessions on Sundays at Beacon Park, players from Tennis For Free are setting up a new charity called Beacon Park Tennis CIO, with the overall aim of running Beacon Park’s four tennis courts on behalf of Lichfield District Council.
By working with the LTA (Lawn Tennis Association), Beacon Park Tennis CIO could tap into the £250 million funding available to tennis organisations across the UK to improve facilities, introduce more players to the sport, and spot potential top class players.
Councillor Iain Eadie, Lichfield District Council’s Cabinet Member for Leisure, said: “We are really excited about the formation of Beacon Park Tennis. It has long been our ambition for groups to get more involved in running local sites, as they have the contacts and expertise to really drive forward sporting opportunities.”
Beacon Park Tennis is now in the process of putting together a management plan for the tennis courts and how it would work with the community to increase use of the courts.
Phil Shaw, Trustee for Beacon Park Tennis CIO, commented: “We are delighted to have this opportunity to take on the Beacon Park tennis courts. Our mission is to serve up a sustainable tennis facility in the heart of Lichfield which is accessible to the entire community.
“Through a series of low-cost, first-class facilities and free coaching-led sessions, we are promoting tennis, fun and encouraging people from all walks of life to be healthy through the Tennis For Free initiative.”
The next step will be for the council to agree the terms of the agreement and set up a lease.
“This is a really exciting time for the sport, and we’re looking forward to working with Beacon Park Tennis to really drive tennis forward locally,” added Cllr Eadie.
The council is inviting other sporting clubs to register their interest in managing a local open space. To find out more email firstname.lastname@example.org.