Tennis clubs in Norfolk will have the chance to bid for £250m worth of funding

The Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) has committed to investing the money in making the sport more acce

The Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) has committed to investing the money in making the sport more accessible over the next 10 years. Picture: Steve Parsons - Credit: EDPpics 2003 (01603) 772434

Tennis clubs across Norfolk will have the chance to bid for £250m worth of funding to improve courts across the county.

The Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) has committed to investing the money in making the sport more accessible over the next 10 years.

And clubs in Norfolk are being advised to pool their ideas together in order to try and secure a portion of the money.

Richard Palmer, president of Norfolk LTA, said funding could be used to create more indoor courts across the county.

He added that almost all of the existing indoor provision was centred around Norwich.


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'It would be strategically advantageous to create indoor sports provision in other parts of the county, so people won't have to travel so far,' he said.

At present, he said there are 20 indoor courts in Norfolk, of which only 10 were public 'pay and play'.

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In comparison, Mr Palmer said there were 140 outdoor courts for registered organisations, and a similar number owned by councils and schools.

Tony Devenish, community business manager for the LTA, said it would be best for local clubs and organisations to work in partnership when applying for funding.

The LTA has committed to investing £125m to improve community tennis facilities across the country. It also plans to 'unlock' a further £125m through match funding from community networks.

The organisation said the money will ensure some of the barriers preventing people from playing tennis are overcome.

Over a third of possible playing hours are lost due to rain, as only 7pc of Britain's 23,000 courts have covers.

Furthermore, only one in seven park courts have floodlights, and booking and gaining access to a court too often relies on old, analogue systems, making it difficult to organise a game.

Alastair Marks, participation director at the LTA said: 'Transforming British Tennis Together has been designed to tackle some of the most obvious challenges to doing that, and we're excited about supporting communities across the country who we know are just as passionate about giving more people the chance to play tennis as we are.'

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