This is the latest in a string of articles the Mail is running on how the National Lottery has helped to shape organisations and services in Hartlepool.
Eldon Grove Tennis Club, in Eldon Grove, Hartlepool, is one of the groups that has benefitted to the tune of £9,900 from the lottery cash about 10 years ago.
And Tony Evans, the club’s chief mark administrator, said the money acted as a “springboard” to take the organisation onto bigger and better things.
He said: “Basically without that money we might not be where we are today. It acted as a springboard to improve our club and without it things could have been very different.”
Tony said the tennis club was a two-court venue with a 6ft by 8ft club house, but its growing membership meant it was stunted due to the amount of space it had.
He said the lottery cash enabled them to transform allotment land at the side of their two court into a third court, and build a bigger and better club house for the players, visitors and audience.
“We had a rapidly growing membership so we really wanted the money to build these extra facilities to cater for that,” he said. “Our old club house was basically a 6ft by 8ft room on the end of a bowling pavillion.
“We didn’t really have any changing facilities or kitchen area, we had to share that with the bowls group.”
He added: “We wanted something more meaningful and more up-to-date really and the lottery cash helped us to get that. It meant we had somewhere to store everything, an open area for visiting teams and a table for tea and sandwiches after matches.”
The cash from the lottery also meant the club could put four more tennis courts on the site of the old Eldon Grove Community Centre, giving them a total of seven courts.
Tony added: “It helped us to move forward, probably faster than we thought possible.”