A TENNIS club in the Spen Valley is fighting back over proposals at a nearby indoor tennis centre which could threaten the future of its junior tennis lessons.

Members of Cleckheaton Lawn Tennis Club are encouraging people to sign a petition to save a tennis centre in Birstall, which is home to regular coaching sessions for its young members, particularly over the winter months.

Kirklees Active Leisure (KAL), which operates Batley Sports & Tennis Centre, in Windmill Lane, Howden Clough, is currently exploring options for the future of tennis at the centre and is holding information sessions later this week to talk through the proposals with those who play tennis there.

Simon Newton, a coach at the Cleckheaton club, which has no indoor facilities of its own, has also run regular coaching sessions at the Birstall centre for more than a decade.

He said: “We’ve been told it’s going to be turned into indoor football pitches. If it closes it will affect all our junior members who practise there, particularly over the winter.

“Other than Batley, it would mean South Leeds or Huddersfield, and people won’t travel that far.”

MP for Batley & Spen, Tracy Brabin said she shared concerns about the future of tennis facilities at the centre in Batley and that she is to meet KAL this week to discuss the matter.

"Events such as Wimbledon and the 2012 London Olympics should inspire our children to embark on a lifetime of enjoying sport and living healthily. However, we know that there was a fall of 8,700 people playing sport between 2012 and 2016, with one of the biggest declines amongst economically deprived groups.

“Now more than ever, we need Government to stop squandering the Olympic legacy, and to step in to ensure that facilities in places like Batley Sports and Tennis Centre are secured for the future and supported to create lifelong active citizens."

Batley Sports & Tennis Centre has four indoor courts and four floodlit outdoor courts, offering group and private coaching for juniors and adults as well as pay-and-play sessions.

A spokesman said for KAL said it was “exploring various options for the future of the existing tennis centre”.

“As a result of exploring options, KAL is progressing a borrowing route from Kirklees Council to secure funding that may be used for alternative provision at the tennis centre.

“KAL, however, would like to reinforce that even should the funding be secured, no final decision has been made about the future of tennis provision at this site.

“In parallel to exploring a borrowing route, KAL are continuing to work closely with the Lawn Tennis Association to develop an alternative proposal to retain tennis provision at the site. A final decision is expected to be made within the next few months."

Information sessions are being held at the centre on Thursday and Friday, July 20 and 21, at various times. To attend one of the sessions, call 01484 766131.

To sign the petition, visit 38degrees.org.uk.