Harrow’s park tennis courts have been given a new lease of life after undergoing a £587,425.42 renovation project.
The refurbishment, delivered by the Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) and funded by the UK Government and LTA Tennis Foundation, aims to provide state-of-the-art facilities for tennis enthusiasts across Harrow.
The reopening ceremony took place at Byron Recreation Ground, where the Mayor of Harrow, Councillor Ramji Chauhan, along with other councillors and LTA representatives, attended a ribbon-cutting event yesterday (28 June). The occasion was made even more special with the presence of schoolchildren from Elmgrove Primary, who were treated to a tennis session with Premier Tennis, the new operators of the Harrow tennis courts.
Councillor Jean Lammiman, Portfolio Holder for Community and Culture, shared her pride in the successful completion of the renovation project. She said, “Looking at these courts today, I am immensely proud of what has been achieved, and what will be happening on these courts for months and years to come. The refurbishment of our tennis courts has been one of our flagship actions.
“This time last year, what you would have seen was almost one-third of our tennis courts deemed unplayable. That’s not us saying that, it was the LTA. In one park (Queensbury Park) the two courts had disappeared completely. Fast forward to this year and what a difference.”
The newly refurbished courts will not only be available for booking through the LTA website but will also host Local Tennis Leagues and weekly free park tennis sessions. The introduction of a new booking system and gate access technology aims to make it easier for tennis enthusiasts to secure court time in advance. The cost of booking a court is £5 per hour (£4 for concessions), ensuring that the courts are well-maintained at their newly improved standards.
Cllr Paul Osborn, Leader of the London Borough of Harrow, spoke of his gratitude for the investment, saying, “Today we celebrate the completion of our refurbishment of all of our courts across the borough. We’ve done 36 courts across 13 different parks. It’s interesting looking at this today, when I came here six months ago before we started this project, you literally couldn’t recognise this (Byron Park Tennis Courts) as tennis courts. It was overgrown, there were weeds, there were tree roots coming through – it was utterly unusable, utterly unplayable. And now we have these fantastic courts all across the borough.
“I’m so grateful to the Lawn Tennis Association for providing us that money, it makes such a big difference to give people all across the borough the opportunity to play tennis whereas before they would be wasted space, so thank you all very much.”
Julie Porter, Chief Operating Officer at the LTA, expressed her delight in seeing the park tennis courts in Harrow open to the public once again, now in better condition than ever. She said, “After months of hard work, we’re delighted to see park tennis courts across Harrow 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.”
Sports Minister Stuart Andrew MP acknowledged the importance of sport for the nation’s physical and mental health, affirming the government’s commitment to making sports accessible to all. He 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 Harrow.
“These improved tennis facilities in Harrow will provide the local community with fun opportunities to get active and potentially become the next Andy Murray or Emma Raducanu.”
The final phase of the project will see the completion of the 13th park, Harrow Recreation Ground, which is due to be completed this summer.