Real Tennis

Case Study - Radley

Court Name and Location


Radley College Tennis Court, Sports Centre Radley College, Abingdon, Oxon, OX14 2HU

Court built on side of existing Sports Hall

Radley Tennis Court
Radley Tennis Court

Key Dates

  • Start of process: Campaign – 1990; Fund-raising -2004
  • Opening of court: 2008

Key People

  • Project Champion: Mick Dean
  • Key Participants:
  • Mick Dean, Champion and Don
  • Ian Balding, Governor
  • Richard Beauchamp, Bursar
  • Additionally, the College was supportive throughout

Design and Construction

  • Architect: West Waddy, Abingdon
  • Quantity Surveyor: David Anderson (now Estates Bursar at College)
  • Main Contractor: Main Contractor: Beard Construction
  • Floor: Load-bearing concrete slab, granwood finish
  • Walls: Steel frame and blockwork; brick outer wall with profile sheeting at higher level and over roof structure
  • Penthouses/Galleries: Plywood on timber framing; turned beech gallery posts
  • Roof: Steel frame, pitched, with no cross beams
  • Lighting: Trilux fluorescent; 680 lux at floor level
  • Access: Double doors at net

Cost Summary

  • Court Construction and Fitting Out: £485k
  • Professional Fees: £68k
  • Sub-total: £553k – current cost estimate £754k
  • VAT: £111k
  • Total: £666k


  • Local Donors: 15 @ £10k, 20 @ £5k, 50 @ £1k (+ gift aid)
  • T&RA: Grant @ £20k, interest-free loan @ £30k
  • Commercial Loan: £250k (fully repaid, with interest)

Problems Encountered

Ongoing problems with walls’ plaster

What would you do differently?

  • Walls at either end should to be stronger, of better quality
  • Side wall, penthouses and bandeau should be built more sturdily

Current Status

  • Club Membership: 150 Full (including about 10 College staff), 50 Country, 30 Junior plus c 50 College Boys (per annum)
  • Active Players: Approximately 75% of above
  • Court Occupancy: 14hrs per day in winter, 10 in summer
  • Court Usage by Radley Students: 12% overall

Mick Dean/David Anderson/Chris Ronaldson/RAD, September 2019