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Published May 15th 2020
Game, set and match as work starts on transforming courts
The illustrious Wimbledon tennis tournament may have been cancelled for the first time since the Second World War, but lovers of the sport in Staffordshire will soon be able to play on brand new courts fit for the 21st century. The first phase of work to transform the tennis courts in Beacon Park in Lichfield has begun following the lifting of coronavirus restrictions on specific industries including construction. Work got underway this week after Lichfield District Council and Beacon Park Tennis Charitable Incorporated Organisation agreed a 21-year lease of the city's four community tennis courts. The new lease means the charity can focus on improving the facilities and encouraging more people to play tennis and netball more often, after taking over the management of the facility.
Work starts on refurbishing the tennis courts at Beacon Park
Beacon Park Tennis CIO was formed to step in and help rescue the courts, raising the necessary funds to resurface the four tennis and netball courts and add new floodlighting to help extend play throughout the year. The charity has teamed up with HS2, Sport England, the LTA, Lichfield Spires Netball Club and Lichfield District Council to help raise the £208,000 needed for the project. Diggers have now moved in for the first phase of the refurbishment work which includes creating new foundations and resurfacing the four tennis courts. This will be followed by phase two, which will see new floodlighting installed. Councillor Liz Little, Cabinet Member for Recycling & Leisure, said: "We're delighted Beacon Park Tennis is giving a new lease of life to Beacon Park's tennis courts. And, with their plans for keeping the tennis courts open for the local community to enjoy and to introduce more people of all ages to the game, we are looking forward to working with the charity in the future to boost tennis locally."
Phil Shaw, Trustee and Chairman for Beacon Park Tennis CIO, commented: "We are excited to have this opportunity to take on the tennis courts at Beacon Park. Our mission is to serve up a sustainable tennis facility in the heart of Lichfield, which is accessible to the entire community. Through a series of low-cost, first-class facilities and free coaching-led sessions, we look forward to promoting tennis and encouraging people from all walks of life to be healthy through the Tennis For Free initiative." Lichfield Spires Netball Club helped boost the charity's coffers when it staged a 12-hour netballathon which raised £2,600. Club co-founder Henrietta Bates said: "The three full-sized netball courts, which are included in the refurbishment, will make a huge difference to the continuing growth of netball in the area. As a club, we're very excited about what we will be able to do in the community as a result of this fabulous facility, and we're hugely grateful to the volunteers at Beacon Park Tennis for the many hours they have committed to achieve this." To find out more about Beacon Park Tennis, visit www.facebook.com/beaconparktennis