TENNIS players will soon benefit from a smashing £1.33m boost to tennis facilities in the city.
The money has been provided by the Lawn Tennis Association to spend on tennis in the UK and to encourage people to get involved with the sport – and news of it comes on the day Andy Murray became the first British man to triumph at Wimbledon for 77 years.
Simon Johnson, tennis operations manager for Hampshire and Isle of Wight Lawn Tennis Association, said: ‘We are working across the UK and Portsmouth is one of the top priority cities.
‘We want to see everybody out playing tennis, people of all ages and abilities.’
The funding will be create new tennis facilities, improve existing ones and provide tennis programmes.
Portsmouth is one of eight cities in the UK to receive this funding and £834,387 of the funding will be used to create a new tennis centre next to the Mountbatten Leisure Centre in Alexandra Park.
The tennis centre will cost £1.16m and as part of a commitment to tennis development Portsmouth city council are investing £332,824 into the project which is due to open in November.
Mark Woolnough, Portsmouth City Council’s built environment and recreation manager, said: ‘We really want people to know that tennis is for everyone, not just professional athletes.
‘It’s fun and it keeps you fit, and that’s why we are developing the local parks.
‘So whether you are a new player or have played before and want to try again, just come down to your local courts and give it a try.’
Other sites across the city will benefit from the funding including Milton Park, Southsea Tennis Club, Cosham Park and the Priory Tennis Centre.
Improvements will include re-surfacing, new lighting and heating, coaching sessions and the chance for residents to play for free during the day.
There will be a programme of tennis events running during the summer including tennis day camps at the Mountbatten Centre and family events.
For information about tennis activities call 023 9262 6500 or to find your nearest tennis court visit tennisinportsmouth.com