The building of new courts, or refurbishment of old courts, is usually led by an active individual or group in a particular location. The latest Tennis court to come into existence was at Radley College in 2008 and there are very active groups hoping to build courts at Wellington and Guildford, with others at various stages in the pipeline. A second Rackets court was opened at Tonbridge in 2012, following a successful appeal by the school combined with support from the community. Previous to this, and in the last 20 years, one new Rackets court had been built at St Paul’s School in London and six new Tennis courts have opened: Bristol, Middlesex University (Burroughs), Harbour Club, The Oratory School, and two at Prested Hall. Sadly, Harbour Club has subsequently closed. In the same period, three old Tennis courts have been restored to play after undergoing major refurbishment: the Cambridge blue court, the Hyde court at Bridport, and Newmarket. One 19th century court at Troon currently stands idle with an impasse between the building’s owners and a group of local enthusiasts.
The T&RA is able to offer a supporting role in dealing with schools, planners, architects and possible funding. This is achieved by either seconding our own experienced people or by recommending consultants. In the first instance, you should contact the office at Queen’s. We have a limited amount of our own funding available to assist court development through grants and loans.
The most recent report was compiled in 2007 and this is currently being updated. The report covered what had been learnt about court development and refurbishment over the preceding 15 years, starting with the construction aspects. This is a ‘live’ document and will be updated periodically, with new subjects added. It is intended to give interested parties some ’steer’ in the right direction when it comes to court construction and refurbishment. You can access it by clicking here:
Underpinning this PDF summary is much good detailed information provided by many people and clubs who have kindly contributed to the report. This information is held at the office, for those interested in seeing more detail. You can also be put in direct contact with those who have built or refurbished courts.
Everyone who has tried to build a court, or even refurbish one, will tell you that construction is the easy part. The struggle to find a site, convince planners, and secure funding is far more challenging. Courts have been built to varying specifications too, from the cheapest at about £0.5m to the most expensive at £1.5m.
With the kind permission of the Radley Estates Bursar, David Anderson, the following plans are available for download.