Work at Wisbech tennis courts is set to be ace

Sue Pitcher, Jane Page and Sue Beel (club chairman), at the tennis club, which is set to get new all

Sue Pitcher, Jane Page and Sue Beel (club chairman), at the tennis club, which is set to get new all-weather courts - Credit: Archant

Wisbech Tennis Club has been served an ace after it won funding to start work on new all-weather courts.

MP Steve Barclay is delighted with the news, having been instrumental in the club obtaining more than £50,000 worth of lottery funding.

Mr Barclay raised the issue of sports funding in rural areas in the House of Commons after the tennis club failed on two separate occasions to win grants.

The tennis club contacted Mr Barclay in desperation after their first two bids to Sports England were rejected and he organised a series of meetings including with the Lawn Tennis Association and Sport England, before raising the matter of rural sports funding in Parliament and highlighting the plight of Wisbech Tennis Club.

In April the club received £50,000 of National Lottery funding through its Inspired Facilities scheme, part of its Olympic and Paralympic Legacy Programme, which delighted club officials.

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Club chairman Sue Beel revealed there was a £15,000 shortfall in funding when tenders came in higher than the anticipated budget but Tom Andrews, the club’s case manager at Sport England, worked hard to secure nearly all the additional funding to meet the shortfall.

Cambridgeshire Lawn Tennis Association has also served up a smash hit by agreeing to fund a mini-court at the cost of more than £13,000, which will be used by juniors, beginners, older players and those with disabilities who are not able to play on a full-sized court.

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Once complete members will be able to enjoy tennis all year round instead of being limited to the summer months.

Mr Barclay said: “I am absolutely delighted to hear work is set to start on this exciting sports project. This area, like many other rural areas, tends to miss out on sports funding and it is something I have been working very hard to address.

“Wisbech Tennis Club and their new courts is a real success story and I can’t wait to have a knock about once construction work is complete.”

Work is expected to take eight weeks.

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