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Gov announces £30 million package to refurbish 4,500 public tennis courts in deprived parts of UK

Package to capitalise on huge boost for British tennis, following unprecedented success for Emma Raducanu, Joe Salisbury, Gordon Reid and Alfie Hewett at this year’s US Open Tennis Championships.

  • £22 million committed by the Government, with additional £8.4 million provided by the Lawn Tennis Association

  • Funding to support Government’s commitment to levelling up sports provision across the nation, and Chief Medical Officer’s guidance on physical activity for children and adults

The Government and Lawn Tennis Association have announced a £30 million package to refurbish more than 4,500 public tennis courts in the most deprived parts of the UK, and support a new generation of players to get into the sport.

The package, which will see £21.9 million committed by the Government and £8.4 million by the Lawn Tennis Association, will revive over 4,500 courts including those in a poor or unplayable condition at more than 1,500 venues.

It is designed to open up the sport to people of all backgrounds, support the Government’s commitment to levelling up sports provision across the nation, and provide greater opportunities for everyone to follow the Chief Medical Officer’s guidance on physical activity. The guidance makes clear that children should aim to carry out 60 minutes of physical activity a day, and adults 2.5 hours a week.

It follows unprecedented success for British tennis at the US Open Tennis Championships in September, led by Emma Raducanu becoming the first British woman to win a Grand Slam singles title since Virginia Wade in 1977, and the first qualifier to win the tournament. The final was watched by a peak audience of 9.2 million viewers on Channel 4 as well as being shown on rights holder Amazon Prime.

Gordon Reid and Alfie Hewett also became the first all-British pairing to complete the Grand Slam by winning the men’s wheelchair doubles final, and Joe Salisbury delivered ‘double doubles’ wins in both the men’s and mixed events.

The government has also announced nearly £30 million a year will go towards improving and opening up school sport facilities in England, as well as to improve the teaching of Physical Education at primary school.

This will build on the 10.1 million which has supported schools to reopen their sports facilities after the Covid pandemic and increase opportunities for children and young people all over England to take part in sport.

It builds on the £320 million PE and Sport Premium, announced for the academic year 2021-22, which helps children become active early on in their lives, supporting primary schools to improve the quality of their PE and sport provision so that pupils experience the benefits of regular exercise. It underlines the importance of PE and sport as set out in the Government’s manifesto, backed by the ambitious School Sport and Activity Action plan which will be updated in due course.

Further detail around the delivery of the funding will be set out in due course.

  • Over the past year and a half the Government has prioritised the importance of sport and physical activity. This will remain at the heart of the Government’s coronavirus recovery plan as we build back fitter.

  • During the pandemic it has provided an unprecedented £1 billion in funding to ensure the survival of the sport and leisure sectors. This has included:

    • A £600 million Sports Survival Package that protected the immediate futures of major spectator sports in England and provided onward benefits to grassroots sports.

    • A £270 million fund provided by Sport England directly to support community sport clubs and exercise centres through this pandemic, via a range of funds.

    • A £100 million support fund for local authority leisure centres. *More than £6 billion of unringfenced funding has also been given to local authorities since the start of the pandemic to allocate in line with local needs which includes leisure facilities.

  • The Prime Minister recently announced an additional £50 million in grassroots football pitches, to boost the wave of national interest in EURO 2020 and Women’s EURO 2022, and inspire the stars of the future to take up the sport.


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