New Community Interest Company
Mon, 21 Sep 2020 00:00
Tennis at St Ann's Well Gardens is about to be revitalised! We are launching a new tennis initiative to offer real community sport for players of all ages.
As from now, the tennis courts at St Ann’s Well Gardens will be run by St Ann’s Tennis, a new non-profit Community Interest Company. St Ann’s Tennis will take on a lease of the courts with responsibility to maintain and operate the facility. St Ann’s Tennis has the full support of Brighton & Hove City Council, and the Lawn Tennis Association (LTA).
All eight courts are going to get an upgrade. The fences will be fixed, the overgrowth cutback, the courts cleaned, conditioned and painted, with new tent posts and nets installed.
St Ann’s Tennis will deploy the LTA’s ClubSpark online booking system, to end the frustration of having to wait ages for courts to become free. The ClubSpark system has contributed to the growth of tennis at hundreds of courts around the UK, including Queens Park and Hove Park. Once you've signed up, you can book a court in seconds. Pay-and-play will cost £8.40 (set by the council) or players can join St Ann's Tennis Club for an annual subscription of £100 a year.
Brighton & Hove Council can no longer afford to pay for the upkeep of park tennis courts in our city. Without proper funding, facilities like the courts at St Ann’s Well Gardens will simply fall into disrepair and then disappear. That's exactly what happened to the public courts in Woodingdean. The public courts in East Brighton are currently being used as a Covid-19 testing center. The new booking system at St Ann's will generate revenue and ensure the park’s courts can be kept in top-notch condition for the good of the whole community.
We look forward to welcoming players of all kinds to St Ann’s Tennis – from club members and recreational and casual players to school groups, beginners and juniors. Tennis is a brilliant way to keep fit; it’s fun, social and affordable. Smart-looking, well-kept courts will attract many new players and revitalise tennis in the park.
In 2019 - for the first time in decades – St Ann’s did not enter a team into Brighton and Hove’s historic Parks League competition. We aim to restore Team St Ann’s! The park has a large catchment area and we are looking forward to seeing many talented local players join the club and contribute to future Parks League success. St Ann’s Tennis Club will be volunteer-run with regular club events and socials, open days and team coaching. With community support and goodwill – and an easy-to-use new booking system in place – we're looking forward to a very bright future for tennis in our gorgeous park.