Nottingham City Council is pleased to announce it is ready to hand over the Nottingham Tennis Centre to the Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) from the end of April.
The move follows talks between the City Council and the LTA that began in August 2021 over the future of the Tennis Centre. Public consultation was undertaken on proposals for the LTA to take over the lease to secure its future. The arrangement would build on the centre’s success, aiming to further develop it as a key grass-court tournament venue, enable further investments to develop the facility into a world-class tennis training and competition base, while retaining community and public tennis facilities.
The process is now completed. With centre users and other stakeholder feedback collated and evaluated as well as with staffing, legal, and commercial aspects addressed, the City Council is pleased to be able to formally announce that the site lease and operation of Nottingham Tennis Centre will be handed over to the LTA from the end of April.
Feedback and questions from the consultation centred around the implications for current Active Nottingham fitness members as well as for those who use tennis facilities or are on the current coaching programme. These questions and responses can be found on the project web page.
As the handover continues, the centre will continue to operate its existing programme of activities. Further communications will be sent out to members and facility users outlining what the change in ownership means to them and for their Active Nottingham membership contract. The LTA will also be holding events in-centre for people to come and discuss their plans and membership options.
Active Nottingham Tennis coaching members, with their permission, will be moved to the new LTA programme. All Active Nottingham gym and fitness members can access facilities at any of the six other city-wide sites. There are several membership options and the team is committed to discussing options for ongoing membership with individuals.
All current Active Nottingham members will maintain their free membership which allows discounts on pay as you play bookings and activities at the remaining City Council sites.
Cllr Eunice Campbell-Clark, Portfolio Holder for Leisure, Culture, and Schools said: “We are so pleased to be able to move forward with the transfer and we look forward to hearing about the LTA’s ambitious development plans in greater detail in the near future. We truly believe this agreement is the best way of building tennis in the city and beyond using the strong foundations that are already in place at the centre. While we are mindful that the change in operations will mean changes for some of our Active Nottingham customers, we are committed to making the transition as smooth and as seamless as possible.”
Gary Stewart, LTA Head of Operations, said: “We’re delighted to be taking over the lease and running of the centre. This is a strategically important site for British tennis, and this move will allow us to safeguard its future. Work has already begun on upgrading the existing tennis facilities and there are more plans in the pipeline, as we look to add additional indoor courts over the next 12 months. These changes will help us support the thriving community tennis programme as well as provide infrastructure for events throughout the year. The tennis courts will be amongst the best in the country, but still available for the local community to use.”
- Developed by Nottingham City Council, NTC was opened by Princess Diana in 1990
- It hosts a range of tournaments throughout the year, such as the Nottingham Open, which is held before The Championships, Wimbledon
- Nottingham Tennis Centre has grown to be the largest public tennis centre in the UK with 39 courts including 11 indoors, 9 grass and 19 hard courts
- Famous players at the tournament have included Andy Murray, Johanna Konta, Tim Henman, Greg Rusdeski as well as former World Number Ones Naomi Osaka, and Ash Barty
- Under the plans, there would be a strong community programme that would include increased opportunities to play and learn tennis for adults, children, and those with disabilities
- Before lockdown, Nottingham Tennis Centre was working with 60 schools with over 9,000 young people taking part in tennis sessions. From this, over 350 pupils joined the Play Tennis coaching programme. Prior to Covid 19, the centre had 1,000 junior players
- The centre is also used for tennis coach education, and by The University of Nottingham to deliver their tennis programme as an LTA Regional Player Development Centre. This Performance Squad partnership saw the University of Nottingham win the LTA University of the Year
- In 2017, the centre’s grounds team was named Professional Tennis Grounds Team of the Year at the prestigious Institute of Groundsmanship Awards and is known for training new staff and offering valuable tournament experience
- Under the proposals, tournament activities would continue and the LTA has plans to invest in the centre to increase the number of international events taking place, alongside a larger number of national and junior international tournaments
- The current tournaments have a strong schools programme and participation offer
- The city council will save £140,000 over the next two years by no longer having to subsidise the running of the centre – It was announced in 2019 that there was a need to find to find savings of £15.8 million in its 2020 budget