A launch event is being held later this month to celebrate the completion of works at Castle Park Tennis Courts in Penrith. The event will feature free, family-friendly tennis activities as well as a first-look at the new courts.
The LTA Big Tennis Weekend launch event is taking place in Castle Park on Sunday 24 September from 10am to 12.30pm. Free tennis activities and coaching will be on offer for all ages and abilities. Rackets and balls will be provided, so all are invited to come along and give tennis a try.
As well as providing excellent tennis facilities for the public, ‘Pay & Play’ court bookings, and weekly Free Park Tennis sessions, the courts will also provide a new permanent home for Penrith Tennis Club.
The four courts will be open from 7am to 10pm year round, with new movement sensor lighting on the park footways and court lighting allowing for play on darker mornings and evenings. Access to the courts will be controlled via a smart gate and passcode.
The court renovations were made possible by joint funding from Westmorland and Furness Council, Sport England, Cumbria Waste Management Environment Trust, The Hadfield Trust, Penrith Tennis Club, Penrith Town Council, and the Lawn Tennis Association's (LTA) Tennis Foundation and UK Government as part of the Parks Tennis Project. The project is part of a £30 million nationwide investment by the UK Government and LTA Tennis Foundation, delivered by the LTA, to transform thousands of park tennis courts across Great Britain, and open up the sport to many more people.
Penrith Tennis Club will work with the LTA to deliver weekly Free Park Tennis sessions for all ages, playing levels and experience. Equipment is provided so players will not need someone to play with or to own a racket. Local Tennis Leagues will also provide friendly, sociable, opportunities to get active through local competition.
Details of the launch event activities, Free Park Tennis sessions, Pay & Play court bookings, and annual memberships that offer free court bookings, can be found at clubspark.lta.org.uk/PenrithCastlePark or search ‘Penrith Castle Park’ on LTA.org.uk.
The courts will open for Pay & Play from Monday 25 September, which is £6 per court per hour or free with annual memberships. The weekly Free Park Tennis sessions will start on Saturday 30 September.
Cllr Dyan Jones, Cabinet Member for Customer and Waste Services for Westmorland and Furness, said:
“Thanks to everyone who has worked hard to make this a reality. It is a great example of how collaborating with determined partners creates the kind of result that will benefit many, now and in the years to come. I am delighted to see it come to fruition and I am sure we can look forward to many years of pleasure for all those who use these facilities.”
Rob Cresswell, Penrith Tennis Club Chairman, said:
“We are very grateful to all the funders that have made this project possible, as their support has made a substantial and truly significant impact on the provision for tennis in Penrith. The support of Eden District Council and now Westmorland and District Council has also been fundamental to ensure the success of the project. We are delighted to have secured the future of tennis for both the Club and the public in Penrith for many years to come and will be pleased to welcome new members to enjoy these excellent new facilities.”
Julie Porter, Chief Operating Officer at the LTA, said:
"We are delighted to be working with Westmorland & Furness Council to improve their park tennis facilities and provide more opportunities for anyone to pick up a racket and get active. This investment is part of the UK Government and LTA’s Parks Tennis Project, and will mean that courts will be available for people to use for years to come. We will also be working closely with the Council to ensure that the local community have a range of accessible opportunities to get on court, and open up our sport to many more people.”