Julie Marson MP welcomes new funding for Bishops Stortford tennis courts
Politics / Wed 12th Jul 2023 at 01:18pm
JULIE MARSON, MP for Hertford and Stortford, welcomes new government investment into Castle Park in Bishop’s Stortford, ensuring greater access to grassroots sports for local people. The three tennis courts at Castle Park now have new gates and an online booking system as a result.
1,000 public tennis courts were refurbished before the eve of the Wimbledon Championships, thanks to the ongoing rollout of a £30 million investment in the grassroots sport.
The £30 million package, which has seen £21.6 million committed by the Conservative Government and £8.4 million by the Lawn Tennis Association (LTA), is the most significant investment in grassroots tennis for a generation. In its lifetime, the package will deliver vital improvements to the condition of over 3,000 park tennis courts across England, Scotland and Wales between 2022-2024, with the target of attracting 500,000 more players every year.
Every court being refurbished will also benefit from access to the LTA online booking system and digital access gates, to make getting onto court as easy and secure as possible for tennis players across the country.
The LTA recently announced a rise of 43 per cent in adults playing during 2022 to a total of 4.7 million, and a significant increase in children playing annually to 3.6 million. Notably there has also been significant growth in women’s participation, up 34 per cent, and participation among 16-34 year olds up by 48 per cent.
This major investment is designed to support the Conservative Government’s commitment to levelling up sports provision across the nation. It also provides greater opportunities for everyone to follow health guidance on physical activity, which will be crucial in delivering the priority to cut NHS waiting lists as more people get active.
The Conservative Government is providing financial support for other grassroots sports, including over £300 million of funding which is being used to support the roll-out or refurbishment of multi-sport facilities across the UK between 2021-25, and a £60 million investment into local swimming pools in England this year.
Commenting, Ms Marson said:
“I welcome this investment from the Conservative Government at Castle Park in Bishop’s Stortford. Funding for grassroots sports is essential to ensuring people in our community are as active, healthy and happy as possible. I look forward to visiting the new facilities soon.”
Culture Secretary Lucy Frazer also said:
“We are committed to levelling up access to sport which is so important for the nation’s physical and mental health. We have now delivered 1,000 resurfaced tennis courts across the country so anyone inspired by Wimbledon next week should pick up a racket and give it a go.”
“We will continue to deliver 3,000 resurfaced tennis courts so that more people across the country have the opportunity to play tennis and I can already see from this local court in Eastbourne the positive impact it is going to have for many years to come.”
Perhaps a grant could be introduced to allow poor kids to afford a decent racket. After all, the Tories can spot a good racket.
What has Bishop Stortford got to do with Harlow. They are Essex when it suits them but also Hertfordshore when it don't suit then to be Essex. Two faced hypocritics
Putting locks and gates on what used to be open public access courts has been tried elsewhere result, people cut the fences. Why, kids, those that hangout with mates, don't have a youth club to go to, can't afford the gyms and expensive leisure and sports centres want to have a occasional game often don't have the money to book, may want to play football tennis, five aside or basketball. Park tennis courts should multisport and free for casual use they provide recreational sites for families and children and individuals especially those struggling with the cost of living and by being there divert teenagers from getting into mischief and therefore save the public purse. The LTA makes millions upon millions through clubs and major events yet all they can offer is basically padlocks to restrict entry and introduce charges. The government and Councils should realise that if they maintain and develop courts and support grassroot sports activities then there's a massive saving because antisocial behaviour, solvent abuse, vandalism, policing and the costs to the criminal justic system and the nhs are massively reduced when such investment is made. Such investment improves communities and helps keep people fitter. Harlow has many such courts and virtually everyone of them needs investment and it's been seen that putting padlocks on the gates merely hastens their decline. There's other ways of keeping them in good condition and development that are better for the community and the maintenance of the courts.