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Riddlesden tennis club unveils plans for major refurbishment
10:00am Monday 25th February 2013 in News
A village’s tennis players could soon be playing on a competitive level thanks to a major refurbishment of their tennis club and its “rotting” pavilion.
Currently the club’s pavilion in Riddlesden, near Keighley, is so decrepit it is unusable and the playing facilities do not meet standards of the Lawn Tennis Association. This means the club’s players are limited to friendly competitions.
But with the club recently growing to more than 100 members, it has bigger ambitions than just friendly games. Plans have been submitted to “bring the club into the 21st century”, including replacing the three existing tennis courts with Lawn Tennis Association standard ones and a new pavilion.
Money for the improvements will come from Sport England’s Olympic Legacy fund. Last month it was announced the club will get £50,000 because it has pledged to improve sports for the community. It is also due to receive money from the dissolved Keighley Tennis Club.
Half of the club’s members are under 18, and it is hoped even more young people will be encouraged to take up the sport once the facilities are improved.
The club plays on courts next to the village War Memorial Institute, which dates back to 1919. A wooden pavilion was added to the site in the 1950s, but even 60 years ago it was second-hand. The rotting, 80-year-old facility is deemed too dangerous to use.
Ron Beaumont, from the War Memorial Committee, said the changes would lead to more local people playing tennis at a grassroots level, as well as helping those who want to advance to a competitive level.
The planning application, which has now gone to Bradford Council, says: “The plans will ensure a long-term future for this sports facility within our community.”
The new pavilion will include changing rooms, a kitchen, toilet, a social area overlooking the courts and a separate storage shed. The existing courts will be dug up and replaced by two double courts and a single court. Mr Beaumont said: “We are doing all we can to bring the club into the 21st century and encourage a much broader use of it.”