As Wimbledon fever grips sport fans across the nation, a £100,000 project to renovate public tennis courts has begun closer to home today (June 11).

The courts in Hinksey Park and Botley Park are being revamped following a partnership between Oxford City Council and tennis governing body, the Lawn Tennis Association (LTA).

This is part of a ‘nationwide investment’ to refurbish public courts across Britain, to allow more people to have access to the sport. 

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The funding will improve the conditions of thousands of existing tennis courts that were in a previously unplayable state and is expected to improve accessibility with new gates and booking systems.

The renovations are due to be completed in August.

Councillor Chewe Munkonge, cabinet member for parks and leisure at Oxford City Council said: “This investment will give us high quality all-weather courts, thanks to the LTA and DCMS funding.

“We’re committed to providing Oxford’s residents with a range of different ways to be active, which is really important for good health.

“We will be introducing a small charge for these courts, which we hope will reduce the number of no-shows for bookings.

“Paying a small fee will encourage people to only book when they know they can play.

“Premier Tennis are providing free sessions so there are still free ways to play.”

Alongside the investment, the council and the LTA will provide a range of activities across the park sites including weekly organised free sessions for all ages where equipment is provided. 

Local Tennis Leagues will provide friendly opportunities to get active through local competition. 

Tom Lambert, Oxford community manager at Premier Tennis said: We’re really excited with the upgraded facilities coming to Hinksey and Botley Parks.

“Following on from previous improvements at Florence Park, we’ve seen the difference new courts can make in the local community and our coaching team is ready to share the fun, fitness and friendship tennis offers to as many people as possible.”

Julie Porter, chief operating officer at the LTA said: “We are delighted to be working with Oxford City Council to improve their park tennis facilities and provide more opportunities for anyone to pick up a racket and get active.

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“This investment is part of the UK Government and LTA’s Parks Tennis Project, and will mean that courts will be available for people to use for years to come.

Once reopened, there will be a £7 charge on adults and a £4.50 charge for under 17s to reduce ‘no-shows’ and to keep the courts in use as much as possible.

Free sessions will also be available to ensure as many people as possible can enjoy the courts.