Merton’s Borough of Sport ambition gets underway with £1m tennis court refurbishments

  • 32 park tennis courts across multiple parks in Merton are now officially reopened after renovations managed by the LTA and funded by UK Government, LTA Tennis Foundation and the London Borough of Merton.
  • Part of biggest ever investment in parks tennis facilities across Britain, with £30million of UK Government and LTA Tennis Foundation funds going towards transforming thousands of public courts.
  • Merton Council held an event delivered by Emma Wells Tennis with young people at Wimbledon Park to mark its reopening.

Several refurbished park tennis courts across Merton have been officially reopened after a £961,000 renovation, delivered by the LTA, and funded by Merton Council, the UK Government and the LTA Tennis Foundation.

In total, 32 of 47 courts being refurbished have now been completed. The remaining 15 park courts are expected to be completed in the autumn, weather permitting.

Councillor Caroline Cooper-Marbiah, Cabinet Member for Sport and Heritage, said: “Being the home of Wimbledon means we’re passionate about encouraging more people to play tennis in Merton. It’s because of this, and our ambition to become London’s borough of sport, that we have invested £438,000 into what is one of the largest refurbishment programmes in the country. As the home of tennis, it’s only right we ensure our aspiring players can access first class facilities.”

Over half a million (£523,000) of the total investment has come via the LTA’s Park Project, through which the LTA is delivering the transforming thousands of park tennis courts across Britain as part of a £30million nationwide investment by the UK Government and LTA Tennis Foundation.

Completed courts in Merton have undergone extensive work to ensure viability for years to come, including resurfacing, repainting, new fencing, and a new gate system. This nationwide programme of investment by the UK Government and LTA Tennis Foundation is seeing thousands of existing park tennis courts in poor or unplayable condition brought back to life for the benefit of communities across the country, providing vital opportunities for children and adults to get active.

The council has made an additional investment of £324,000 by installing Multi Use Sports Areas in Colliers Wood Rec, Haydons Road Rec, and Morden Recreation Ground, which as well as tennis courts will also provide provision for basketball, football, and netball.

Stuart Andrew MP, Sports Minister, said: “We are committed to levelling up access to sport which is so important for the nation’s physical and mental health. The Government and the LTA are working together to deliver thousands of refurbished courts across Great Britain, supported by £30 million of investment including in the London Borough of Merton. These improved tennis facilities in Merton will provide the local community with fun opportunities to get active and potentially become the next Andy Murray or Emma Raducanu.”

Julie Porter, Chief Operating Officer at the LTA, said: “After months of hard work, we’re delighted to see the majority of park tennis courts across Merton officially back open to the public, and in better shape than ever. Public tennis courts are such vital facilities for getting active and we want as many people as possible, of all ages and abilities, to pick up a racket and enjoy playing tennis. Thanks to this investment the sport will be opened up to more players, for years to come.”

Launch event held to mark re-opening of 32 courts

Earlier this week, Councillor Cooper-Marbiah went to a newly refurbished courts at Wimbledon Park to view a coaching session of local youngsters led by LTA Accredited coach George Manley of Emma Wells Tennis and who enjoyed some extra support by Dan Bloxham, Head Coach at the All England Lawn Tennis Club, as the young people were put through their paces with some Ball Boy and Girl drills, as well as a high intensity session used by top professionals.

Emma Wells Tennis, said: As well as delivering the highest level of quality coaching, community is the heart of what we do as an operation at Emma Wells Tennis and the newly refurbished courts offer even more opportunity to get as many people playing as possible on such fantastic new facilities across the borough.” 

Ulrika Hogberg, Head of Community Strategy, at the All England Club said: “We’re delighted to support Merton’s ambitions to be the Borough of Sport. We’re proud to have donated over 70 tennis nets, used during The Championships, to park tennis courts across Merton and we’re hopeful that these fantastic newly refurbished courts will inspire the community to pick up a racquet and get involved.”

What courts are now open? 

Tennis courts in Wimbledon Park, Cottenham Park, Morden Park, Oakleigh Way Playing Fields, Tamworth Recreation Ground, King George’s Playing Fields, and Joseph Hood Recreation Ground are among those to have benefited from this investment and been recently reopened for the public to book and enjoy.

Further improvements works are currently or due to take place at Nursery Road Playing Fields, Holland Garden, Sir Joseph Hood Memorial Playing Fields, Dundonald Recreation Ground and further courts at Joseph Hood Recreation Ground.