A project to improve the tennis facilities at Newton-le-Willows Sports Club is now unde rway, thanks to a grant of £50,000 from Enovert Community Trust.
The £165,000 project will see an additional tennis court constructed at the club, bringing the total number of courts to four.
The existing dilapidated shale courts will also be upgraded with all-weather surfaces and new fencing, while floodlights will be installed at three of the courts.
Kieron Potter, Secretary at the Newton-le-Willows Tennis Club, said: “We’re extremely grateful to Enovert Community Trust for providing such a generous grant towards this project, which will create a modern, cost-effective, all-year round facility.
"Over the past five years participation in the club has increased significantly and the facilities urgently need to be expanded to keep up with growing demand.
“The current lack of floodlights and the existing shale surfaces restrict the playing season to five months of the year; once the project is completed the club will be able to provide more opportunities for schools and members of the community to participate in tennis.”
In addition to the £50,000 grant from Enovert Community Trust, funds have also been secured from Wargrave Big Local Partnership and Newton Tennis Section. The project will be completed in Spring 2020.
Angela Haymonds, Trust Secretary at Enovert Community Trust, said: "The trustees were delighted to support Newton-le-Willows Sports Club with this project, which will significantly improve the playing facilities available to all members of the local community.
"The club’s ongoing efforts to forge partnerships with local schools and get young people involved in the sport were also a key factor in the Trust’s decision to support the project.
“This will be one of the last projects funded in the St Helens area, as the landfill site from which the funds for this project were derived has now closed and, as a result, ECT is no longer funding projects in the area. I am so pleased that Newton-le-Willows Tennis Club was successful with its bid whilst funds were still available.”
Jeanne Dentith, Vice-Chair of Wargrave Big Local, said: “The project is a great opportunity to bring access to tennis to Wargrave residents, something that was lost locally when the Vulcan tennis courts were removed. As well as the obvious physical and mental health benefits that are gained from participation in sport, there is also the social side of club membership.”