Huge tennis boost for Birmingham

By on 03/06/2010 in News

The LTA has today announced plans to invest up to £5m into the Edgbaston Priory Club’s development programme to secure the long term future of grass court tennis in Birmingham,  and provide a bespoke tournament venue, complete with a permanent grass show court, for the LTA’s annual International women’s event; the AEGON Classic.

In addition the development will significantly help to improve community access to tennis in the local area and across the city.

The development also includes plans for a 6-court indoor tennis centre which will help to support and develop the club’s performance programme and further enhance the club’s status as an LTA High Performance Centre.

This major investment from the LTA will also improve the quality of playing surfaces on other grass courts at the venue.

Roger Draper, Chief Executive of the LTA said: “We are delighted to be able to invest this money into the redevelopment of the Edgbaston Priory Club. It will provide the community with access to this site and improve the delivery of tennis across the whole city, boosting the sport from both a performance and grass roots perspective.”

This announcement comes as the Club prepares to welcome some of the world’s top female tennis players to the AEGON Classic 2010 which runs from 7th June – 13th June at Edgbaston Priory Club.

“This investment will also secure the future of the AEGON Classic in Birmingham for years to come,” added Draper. “We are looking forward to working with the City Council to improve tennis in England’s second city.”

Birmingham City Council Cabinet member for Leisure, Sport and Culture Cllr Martin Mullaney believes the plans will make Birmingham a centre of tennis excellence.

 He added: “This will make Birmingham a beacon of tennis excellence and, in addition to the boost for elite tennis, will bring investment at grassroots level.”

 The construction of the indoor tennis centre and show court form part of a multi-million pound redevelopment of the Edgbaston Priory Club site which includes new squash, gym and leisure facilities together with a major refurbishment of the clubhouse.

 The plans were approved at a special general meeting in April and are now being finalised in advance of a submission for planning consent.  As part of the proposals, the Club has agreed terms with Calthorpe Estates to lease an additional four acres of adjacent land on the former Tally Ho! Bowling Club site on which the new indoor tennis centre will be built.

 Michael Fallows, Chairman of the Edgbaston Priory Club said: “This is a hugely exciting project for Edgbaston Priory Club – a once in a lifetime opportunity to provide members and the local community with the very best sporting and social facilities, to establish the Club as a leader in promoting racquet sport at all levels and to secure, for generations to come, Edgbaston Priory Club’s reputation as a prominent international tournament venue.

 ”The substantial injection of funds from the LTA, and the support of the City Council, has given the project a massive boost, representing a huge vote of confidence in Edgbaston Priory Club and the city’s ability to deliver a bright and secure future for tennis in this country.”

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  1. Nargis Darby says:

    It’s all very well putting £5 million into a place that will be secure for a long time, but what about the smaller clubs that develop some extremely talanted tennis payers. My sons are part of one of these clubs and although they have far to go, there are some fantastic young tennis players there.
    This club was refused funding from the LTA and reading this article annoys me because it seems that to be recognised you need to be a certain type of person.
    The children who play tennis in urban areas have a enourmous passion and they get left behind because of where they live.