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Refurbished tennis court opens

Published: Thursday 27th July 2017 at 17:00

Refurbished tennis court opens

A special ceremony was held this week to celebrate the launch of the refurbished tennis court at Brandon Leisure Centre.

The court was opened by MP Matt Hancock and a taster session of short tennis was held. Now the community is being asked to make a racket about the refurbished court which will be free to use for around a year and can be booked with the welcome co-operation of the Leisure Centre.

Chris Arnold, a member of the Brandon Remembrance Playing Fields Committee, volunteered to try and find grants to raise the funds and obtain quotes for the refurbishment plus a limited supply of equipment for mini or short tennis for children aged 5-12 years.

Funding was secured from many sources including the Suffolk Community Foundation, via its Stimulus Fund in association with the Lawn Tennis Association, West Suffolk Partnership Network Ideas Fund and the BRPF Committee itself.

It also included locality funding from Forest Heath District Councillors Peter Ridgwell, Christine Mason, Victor Lukaniuk and David Palmer as well as money from District and former Suffolk County Councillor Reg Silvester. Locality funding is part of Forest Heath District Council’s priority to help councillors and communities work together and fund improvements in their areas.

The refurbishment of the community tennis court means that all within the town and surroundings can use it. The tennis court will be available to adults and accompanied children. In addition teenagers will be encouraged to play tennis with their friends.

This will have a positive impact on health and wellbeing as participating in sport leads to healthier and more active lives.

Chris Arnold said: "The court was in a bad condition and dangerous to use. The Committee wanted to see the court brought back into use and avoid the loss of a valuable facility which might have been turned into additional car parking. This refurbishment will mean that the sport is accessible to all and will enable the community of Brandon to treasure this valuable asset which enhances the entrance to the Playing Fields and Abbeycroft Leisure Centre. It would build new relationships through sports and could be used by local community groups and schools within the town. Who knows, there may be a Wimbledon winner of the future start their tennis career in Brandon."

The money was provided by local Brandon councillors Peter Ridgwell, Victor Lukaniuk, David Palmer, Christine Mason and Reg Silvester. Councillors agreed: "Locality Budgets were introduced so local councillors could work with their communities and together find solutions and tailored initiatives to benefit residents. This is a great example of where together councillors and community have worked to refurbish this tennis court that will have a much wider knock-on effect on people's health and provide an opportunity for all ages to come together in Brandon."

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