Real Tennis

Case Study - Wellington



Maltby Court, Wellington Real Tennis Club, Dukes Ride, Crowthorne, West Berkshire RG45 7PU

A free-standing Court, with Dedans, Galleries, Professionals’ Office, Club Room and Changing Rooms

Key Dates

  • Start of process: Early 2010
  • Opening of court: Mid 2016

Key People

  • Project Champions:

    William Maltby and Peter Luck-Hille (Construction)

  • Organising Committee:

    - William Maltby, OW; Peter Mallinson, OW and College Governor; James Mallinson, OW

    - Peter Luck-Hille – Project Manager: design and construction; Nick Jones – business plan, etc.

    - Malcolm Callender, College Estates Bursar; Steve Bosse, College Operations Bursar; Ian Davis, Head of College Enterprises

Design and Construction

  • Architect:

    Henry J Stribling, Windsor

  • Design and Build Contract:

    Beard Construction, Guildford

  • Floor: Floated reinforced concrete, then ground and polished
  • Walls:

    Reinforced concrete in one pour (300mm, C40)

  • Penthouses: Timber, plywood and Iroko hardwood, supported by inverted steel T section
  • Roof: Steel frame, pitched, with no cross beams
  • Lighting: 1000 lux at floor level
  • Access: Double doors at Hazard end

Cost Summary

  • Site Preparation: £150k
  • Court Construction and Fitting Out, including Professionals' Office, Club Room, etc: £1000K
  • Listed Building Compliance Cost: £150k
  • Professionals Fee: £130k
  • Sub-Total: £1430k - current cost estimate £1750k
  • VAT: £280k
  • Total: £1710k
  • Debt: No External Debt


  • Top Six Donors: 76%
  • Next Twelve: 12%
  • T&RA: 8%
  • Others (80): 4%

Problems Encountered

  • Site Preparation
  • Listed Building Compliance
  • Construction Cost Inflation
  • Design Changes
  • Initial problems with walls and floor
  • Ventilation: condensation drips onto court when very cold outside

What would you do differently?

  • Engage experienced and competent independent consultants rather than contracting on a design and build basis
  • Pour the concrete for the walls in 5m sections rather than one 44-lorry effort

Fundamentals in Place

  • A well connected and driven individual who drove and championed the project
  • A path to a successful fundraising which needed to be under-pinned by a small number of large donors
  • An enthusiastic institution (supported at the top level) which remained onside for the duration of the project (six years)
  • A suitable site where planning permission was able to be obtained
  • A knowledgeable and committed individual who drove the construction of the court and who, de facto, became the client (although technically the college)
  • A sound business plan which supported the hiring and retention of a high-quality professional team

Current Status

  • Club Membership: 150 including 50 Country members
  • Regular Active Players: 50 including about 10 members of staff
  • College Student Players: a further 70 boys and girls on average per annum (subsidized by the College)
  • Local Schools: Six local schools using the facilities on a regular basis, including four state schools (subsidized by the Dedanists’ Foundation)

Note: For further information, please refer to the MURTC / WRTC Update within the Technical Reports section of the website.

William Maltby/Peter Luck-Hille/RAD, September 2019