Newcastle tennis festival marks new lease of life for seven courts in the city

Seven tennis courts across Newcastle have been rejuvenated as part of the project Credit: ITV Tyne Tees

A free Tennis Festival is taking place across six of Newcastle upon Tyne’s parks to celebrate the reopening of the city’s park tennis courts.

Taking place over the bank holiday weekend, free tennis sessions will be available to book in Armstrong Park, Elswick Park, Exhibition Park, Gosforth Central Park, Nuns Moor Park, and Paddy Freeman’s Park, giving people of all ages the opportunity to experience the new courts.

The £183,000 investment from the Parks Tennis Project has delivered a range of upgrades, including resurfacing, court repainting, new fencing, and new nets and posts.

To help people find and book a tennis court near them, new gate-access technology and booking systems have also been introduced at all seven park tennis venues.

The new booking systems and gate access technology mean it’s now easier for people to get on court by booking in advance to guarantee availability, with a small court booking fee ensuring courts are maintained at their new high standard for years to come.

Carol Pyrah, Chief Executive of Urban Green Newcastle, said: “The funding we received from UK Government and the LTA Tennis Foundation has allowed us, in partnership with Newcastle City Council, to revitalise 22 of the tennis courts in Newcastle’s parks, helping to open up the game for people right across the city.

“The tennis courts in Nuns Moor Park and Elswick Park will remain free to use, and the small booking fee introduced at Armstrong Park, Exhibition Park, Gosforth Central Park, Leazes Park, and Paddy Freeman’s Park, will help ensure the long-term future of the tennis courts and make sure they don’t fall into disrepair.

"All the money will be reinvested back into the tennis courts for the benefit of local communities."

The project to rejuvenate the courts has seen Urban Green Newcastle, Newcastle City Council and the Lawn Tennis Association form a new partnership.

Jim Mawdsley, Principal Adviser for events and culture at Newcastle City Council, said: “Tennis is a sport which is growing in popularity, but all too often many courts in local parks have been vandalised or are in a serious state of disrepair, which is why I am delighted at this major refurbishment programme of courts across parks in Newcastle.

“Tennis is a great way for people of all ages to have fun while exercising and is part of Urban Green Newcastle’s drive to encourage more people to become active which the Council fully supports. You don’t have to be the next Emma Raducanu or Andy Murray to take part, but wouldn’t it be great if the next tennis stars of the future could say they started playing the game in the city’s parks.

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