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New Real Tennis Court at Wellington

15 May 2014

Great progress being made on building a new court at Wellington College


New Real Tennis Court at Wellington

As many will be aware, the latest new Tennis court in the UK is likely to be constructed at Wellington College in Berkshire and available for play during 2016. This will be only the second court built in the 21st Century, and Wellington will become the fourth UK school to offer real tennis, joining Canford, the Oratory and most recently, Radley. Detailed architects’ plans have been drawn up and refined. The planning application process has been launched with the local authority and the planning consultants are confident that approval will be received during this summer. The plan is that, if all goes well, building work will commence in the Autumn with a view to having play commence in 2015, which also marks the occasion when Wellington College, and indeed the country as a whole, will mark the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo.

The location and setting of the new court is ideal. It will be adjacent to the school’s Rackets court and be part of the existing sports club which has some 800 members playing squash, lawn tennis, badminton and participating in other fitness activities. The real tennis club will be run on an open access basis in much the same way as the successful club at Radley.

The scope of the project can be appreciated by viewing a fly through model, which will give you a good sense of the layout of the court building, at architect's virtual video fly-through.

Regarding financial support, pledges have been received for over 75% of the roughly £1.1 million finance needed. So far this support has come from a narrow group of generous donors, including the T&RA which is providing £100,000. £70,000 of the T&RA’s financial support comes from the Association’s associated charitable trust, the DBTRAF, and £30,000 from the General Fund. Providing this kind of support is consistent with the Association’s objective to focus its financial support of expanding and preserving court capacity, although we remain committed to supporting initiatives to improve the facilities in our existing clubs. The T&RA’s support of the court at Wellington is conditional inter alia on its meeting three key conditions – development of a sound business model and good governance procedures, open access and compulsory T&RA membership among club members - and the Tennis Committee has taken on ensuring these are met before funding takes place.      

To turn this exciting project in to reality, a further £200k needs to be raised and a public fundraising has been launched recently. Anybody interested in participating in this fundraising should contact Emma Browne, Deputy Director of Development, Wellington College, Berkshire RG45 7PU, ELB@wellingtoncollege.org.uk; donations of any size are welcomed. All donations will be recognised on Honours Boards in the new court with special recognition for donations of £1,000 or more.

Expected timescale

  • Autumn 2015: Build commenced

  • Late Spring 2016: Build finalised

  • Summer 2016: Grand opening


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