OXFORD’S first publicly accessible floodlit tennis courts will be available from Friday evening.

The £264,000 project in Florence Park, which was completed at the end of October, was funded by the Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) and Oxford City Council.

There are now new LED court lights, nets, posts and surface on the park’s five outdoor tennis courts.

It means tennis players will be able to access the courts for 5,000 more hours every year.

Work to improve the courts started in August.

As part of a new timetable, visitors will be able to play from dusk to 10pm during the week and until 9pm at weekends.

An opening event will celebrate the new courts on Thursday.

It will be hosted by Parks Tennis from 3pm and schoolchildren have been invited to play on the new surface.

The new lights will be switched on at the courts at 4.15pm. LTA president Martin Corrie and Councillor Linda Smith, the council’s board member for leisure, parks and sport, will be there.

She said: “This investment in facilities at Florence Park is great news for tennis in Oxford, and the extra playing hours created by the new lighting will mean there will be more opportunity than ever before for Oxford residents to play.

“I know the ability to play until late in the evening will be a god-send for many keen players who lead busy lives. Florence Park already has a Green Flag award for the high quality of its facilities, and the upgraded tennis courts will further add to its attraction.”

The LTA’s community business manager Nina Graveson-Bridge said: “We’re really excited about the improvements to the facilities at Florence Park which will give more people in Oxford the opportunity to play tennis for longer, particularly during the winter months.

“This type of investment is absolutely vital to get people playing regardless of their ability or background.”