Hartlepool tennis club launched by Sir William Gray serving up £250,000 upgrade including floodlighting
Hartlepool Lawn Tennis Club is serving up more £200,000 of improvements in a major refurbishment of its facilities.
Club officials say the quarter of a million pound project at the club in Granville Avenue will ensure it is one of the premier tennis venues in the North East.
The project will see courts upgraded for play in all weathers, the installation of floodlights and other improvements.
Progress is well underway after contractors began work in mid September and the club, founded by Sir William Gray in 1887, is on course to reopen later next month in time for a new junior and adult coaching programme.
Four courts are getting all-weather resurfacing while a fifth is being relaid with championship grade acrylic.
Two courts will benefit from floodlights and are the only ones in Hartlepool or the surrounding area.
Club secretary Paul Asensio said: “Hartlepool Lawn Tennis Club is one of the oldest clubs in the country and this redevelopment ensures a bright future for tennis in Hartlepool with fantastic new facilities open to both club members and the wider public.
“We’ve been overwhelmed by the support we've received from community groups, local schools, Hartlepool Borough Council and our corporate sponsors.
“Our neighbours, in particular, have been hugely supportive and we’d like to thank everyone for sharing our vision.”
The courts are also being completely refurbished with new fencing, nets, posts and court colours.
Accessibility is also being improved with wider gates, pathways and ramps for wheelchair access to the courts and clubhouse.
Club volunteers have worked tirelessly on the project for the last two years. It is being paid for by club funds, a grant from Sport England and a loan from the Lawn Tennis Association.
A new ‘pay and play’ online booking system for members and non-members, combined with the new and improved facilities, hopes to attract more people to the club.
Shaun Trathan, who is managing the refurbishment project, added: “We just want to grow the club and get more in and being more active.”
The club is holding an open night on Friday, November 29, from 6pm. Non-members are welcome.