Indoor tennis provision in the north of Scotland is set to be boosted by the opening of a new four-court facility in Elgin at the Moray Sports Centre. The £1.24m facility has secured a £816,000 investment from the Transforming Scottish Indoor Tennis (TSIT) fund, delivered in partnership by sportscotland, the Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) and Tennis Scotland.
Work on the facility, which will be managed by Moray Sports Centre, is expected to commence by spring of 2021. It will ensure existing and new players in the area have year-round access to courts in an accessible, affordable and inclusive space.
Equality and inclusion
The development will accelerate participation at grassroots level, with a particular focus on equality and inclusion - ensuring opportunities for all to enjoy tennis. Maximising local club and member participation and providing a base for workforce development and competitive events, Moray Sports Centre will partner with third-sector organisations and the Active Schools Network to provide outreach programmes in local schools.
Minister for Public Health, Sport and Wellbeing, Joe FitzPatrick, welcomed the investment. He said: "This will expand participation in the sport across the region and allow young sporting talent to be nurtured.
"The Scottish Government seeks to provide opportunities for all people at all ages and abilities to participate in physical activity, with a priority towards addressing disparities and reducing inequalities, and these new facilities will help fulfil that vision.”
Thanks to you
Stewart Harris, sportscotland chief executive, recognised the contribution of everyone who has bought a National Lottery ticket in making this project a reality.
He said: “TSIT is great example of where working in partnership allows us to maximise resources and deliver sports facilities where they are needed to help everyone enjoy sport at every level.
"Projects like this tennis facility in Moray would simply not be possible without people playing the National Lottery.
"Every week £30 million is raised for good causes by National Lottery players, and thanks to you we can support projects that will have a real impact on the lives of communities across Scotland.”
Delivery and development
Scott Lloyd, LTA CEO, added: “We are delighted along with our partners at sportscotland and Tennis Scotland to kickstart the TSIT fund with this award for Moray Sports Centre. This is very much part of the LTA’s investment into the delivery and development of tennis in Scotland announced earlier this year.
"Our aim with Tennis Scotland is to drive greater visibility of and engagement in tennis, with everyone working together to get more people playing the sport. This will enable more people from the north of the country to play throughout the winter months and provide much-needed facilities to the local tennis community.”
A significant moment for tennis
Welcoming the announcement, Tennis Scotland CEO Blane Dodds said: “This is a significant moment, as we continue the expansion of tennis provision across Scotland.
"This facility will ensure the tennis community in Moray has access to year-round tennis, with opportunities for enhanced participation, competition, performance and coach development. Our vision is to increase opportunities to play across the country, and this is just the first of a number of projects we expect to get underway in the next 12 months."
Mr Dodds also paid tribute to Sandy Adam and the Moray Sports Foundation for their continued support in driving this facility forward.
He said: "Without this support and ambition, it would not be possible to deliver such important local and regional facilities.”
Bob Cunningham, Moray Sports Foundation Trustee, said: “This funding unlocks opportunities which, until now, Moray’s tennis playing community could only dream about. For the first time in Moray tennis will be played all year round. It’s great news for careers in tennis too, and for the tennis coaching scene as we will be able to employ full-time coaches and run a coach development scheme.
“Anyone will be able to get a game, for fun, for practice or to compete. There will be tennis for everyone, from lifetime recreational players and promising youngsters coming up through grassroots, to people of any age or ability picking up a racket for the first time.
“Months of work by Moray Sports Foundation, Tennis Scotland, sportscotland and the LTA have gone in to bringing this tremendous tennis centre to Moray. I congratulate everyone involved for their foresight and determination to make it happen."
Mr Cunningham also spoke on behalf of his fellow trustees, saying: "We are now focused on the timely delivery of Moray Indoor Tennis Centre and look forward to Moray playing its part in continuing Scotland’s successful tennis legacy.”
sportscotland, the LTA and Tennis Scotland are working together to deliver the TSIT Fund, which will see a significant investment into Scottish tennis facilities, with £15 million committed by this partnership, for the development of indoor tennis centres in Scotland.
This is the largest capital investment programme in the sport’s history in Scotland. TSIT is designed to support innovative and creative projects to meet local demand and fill the geographical gaps in indoor tennis provision that currently exist across Scotland. Ultimately the aim is to create more and better opportunities to play tennis all year round.