A new partnership between Wirral Council and the Lawn Tennis Association will see indoor tennis return to Wirral Tennis and Sports Centre this autumn with an exciting programme aimed at all abilities.
Following a decision earlier this year at the Tourism, Communities, Culture and Leisure Committee (TCCL) to redevelop the offer at Wirral Tennis & Sports Centre in Valley Road, Birkenhead, the council has entered into a partnership with the Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) to take over the management and operation of the six indoor tennis courts at Bidston Tennis Centre.
The Centre had been closed as part of the council’s work to balance its 2022/23 budget however following an approach from the LTA to work together in partnership to provide the six indoor courts, members of Wirral Council’s TCCL Committee agreed in June 2022 that the indoor tennis offer could be reinstated based on the development of a new operating model.
Play Point Sports, will now assume operation and management of the tennis offer at the centre. They have been working to introduce an exciting new tennis programme for all tennis enthusiasts which includes a comprehensive programme for all ages and abilities. There will be a clear pathway in place for players to go from absolute beginners to county standard and beyond.
There will also be opportunities for players to take part in social tennis and cardio tennis as well as a new disability programme coming to the centre soon. All of these programmes are centred around getting Wirral more active through tennis.
Anyone wishing to book a court or lessons can do so through the operator’s website at https://playpointsports.co.uk/wirral-indoor-tennis-centre/
Scott Reid, Tennis Operations Manager for the LTA said, “We’re delighted to be entering into this partnership with the council and hope it will pave the way for a full tennis offer at Wirral for years to come. The LTA has worked hard with council colleagues to ensure the centre can re-open with all six indoor courts, and they won’t be lost to redevelopment.
“We will now be working with Play Point Sports to ensure the centre can run sustainably on a day-to-day basis. Our goal is for the centre to offer players and families in the local area a chance to get on court and enjoy a first-class experience.”
Councillor Helen Cameron, Chair of the Tourism, Communities, Culture & Leisure Committee added, “This development represents the latest evolution of the council’s long-term partnership with the LTA, who originally part funded the building of the centre in the mid 90’s and have continued to support the maintenance of the tennis hall and development programme with significant grants over the years.
With no other indoor courts available on Wirral the facility will offer the tennis community an opportunity to extend their playing season throughout winter season. Both the council and LTA hope that this partnership will be the first step in ensuring the long-term sustainability of a full tennis offer on the site.”
The partnership will not impact on the wider redevelopment of the remainder of the centre which is currently closed for remodelling as part of a budget option agreed last year.
During this time a programme of refurbishment is taking place to allow the site to better meet local needs. It is anticipated this programme will be completed in April 2023. The programme will see most of the Centre’s indoor space redesigned to offer a wider choice of sport and physical activities for all age groups that will benefit the local and wider community.
This includes major upgrades to the gym and fitness studio as well as new and innovative soft play areas with an exciting catering offer in place of the sports hall. A second full size artificial 3G Astroturf football pitch will also be built at the site through a partnership with The Football Foundation that will cater for the growth in local football demand.