Tennis in Scotland has been riding on the crest of a wave with Andy Murray, Jamie Murray, and Gordon Reid all recently reaching the top of their respective rankings in singles, doubles, and wheelchair singles.
The feel-good factor of having three world No.1s from Scotland continues with local communities, local authorities, tennis clubs and businesses now able to register their interest to benefit from the LTA, Tennis Scotland and sportscotland’s £15million joint fund Transforming Scottish Indoor Tennis.
Communities who express interest should then collaborate with local partners to put together strong, joined up bids which demonstrate their plans to bring tennis to a wider local audience.
Double the number of indoor courts
The initiative aims to increase the number of people playing tennis in Scotland by doubling the number of indoor tennis courts as a long-term goal and is the largest capital investment programme in the sport’s history in Scotland.
Transforming Scottish Indoor Tennis will:
- double the number of indoor courts from 112 – 225 to increase available playing hours when it’s raining and when the sun has gone down
- fill the geographical gaps in indoor tennis provision that currently exist across Scotland
- support other innovative and creative ideas that meet local demand
Community groups’ involvement
The LTA, alongside sportscotland, and in partnership with Tennis Scotland, is asking community groups with a real passion for tennis to partner with local organisations, local government, businesses and volunteers to develop a community tennis network, and bid for funding to transform their local tennis infrastructure.
Expressions of interest, logged via the dedicated online hub on www.tennisscotland.org/facilities will then receive guidelines and criteria for their submissions over the coming weeks. Interested organisations should then liaise with their Tennis Scotland Regional Development Manager and sportscotland to develop their proposals.
Alastair Marks, Participation Director at the LTA, said: “The reaction to the news that we were making this funding available was incredibly positive, so we are now really looking forward to hearing from Scottish community groups who want to work with us to transform their local tennis courts into thriving social hubs.
"It’s time for volunteers, community tennis groups and local organisations to come together and let us know how we can use this investment to make a real impact, and get more people playing tennis.”
National Lottery investment stream
Mel Young, Chair of sportscotland, added: “I urge those who want to make a positive contribution to Scottish tennis to register their interest by applying for investment through the Transforming Scottish Indoor Tennis Fund.
“This partnership, created through a £7.5 million sportscotland contribution from our National Lottery investment stream, and LTA’s £7.5 million investment, will have a transformational impact on Scottish tennis by providing more and better opportunities for people to get involved in tennis.
“Importantly, it will also increase tennis’ accessibility across all areas of our society.”
Blane Dodds, Chairman of Tennis Scotland, is certain that this unprecedented level of capital investment will bring huge benefits. “This level of funding will bring tennis to life within Scotland, and Tennis Scotland will do everything in its power to ensure the investment is maximised so the whole country benefits," he said.
"We are delighted to be working with the LTA and sportscotland to make this happen. To those considering applying for funding, I remind you that this is a once in a lifetime opportunity for tennis facilities to become the social hubs of our communities once again.”
All year round tennis
Aileen Campbell, Minister for Public Health and Sport, said: “We all appreciate the variability of Scotland’s climate meaning it is not always conducive to playing tennis outdoors. That is why this initiative to increase the number of indoor courts is so important, guaranteeing far better opportunity to participate and enjoy tennis all year round.
“I hope and would encourage local communities to take advantage of the funding so that more people can play tennis, whatever the weather.
"By making it easier to play, we can build on the sport’s strong foundations laid by Scotland's inspiring tennis stars Andy and Jamie Murray and Gordon Reid.”
As Scotland’s tennis infrastructure starts to see the benefits of this transformative investment, tennis programmes supported by the LTA and Tennis Scotland, such as Tennis for Kids and Judy Murray’s Tennis on the Road, will continue to play a key role in attracting more children into the sport.
Tennis for Kids has already delivered thousands of free tennis courses and rackets to children across Scotland. Great British Tennis Weekends, now in their fifth year, deliver hundreds of free open days to families across Scotland. Inspiring and training Scotland’s coaches will be crucial in maintaining this momentum, so coaching schemes such as She Rallies, which focuses on training female coaches, will help develop the future generation’s potential.
Find out more
Tennis clubs, parks, local government, volunteers, coaches and businesses in Scotland can register their interest in Transforming Scottish Indoor Tennis at the Tennis Scotland website.