Lawn Tennis Association president Peter Bretherton believes the groundwork has been done to ensure a bright future for British tennis.
Bretherton, a Heaton Tennis and Squash Club member for over 30 years, said in the LTA’s 2011 annual report that he was buoyant about the state of the game.
He said: “Five years into our ten-year strategy, strong foundations have been put in place to enable and support growth of the sport in the years ahead.”
At grass-roots level, Bretherton stressed that there are now 180 park and community sites, including Salts Tennis Club in Shipley, who were awarded the accolade last year, with Beacon status, which encourages clubs to provide free and affordable tennis to the local community.
But Bretherton added that the target is to achieve at least 250 accredited Beacon sites by the end of September, 2012.
The Tennis Clubmark scheme, of which Heaton Tennis Club is a member, is ahead of schedule though, with the target of 908 accredited Clubmark venues exceeded by 18.
Bretherton added: “In total the LTA has invested £7.1m into facilities projects over the last year.
“Spend across these projects will create 30 new indoor courts and 169 new floodlit courts.
“As a result of our investment, we have created 367,095 additional playing hours.
“12,515 primary schools have now been supported through the AEGON Schools’ Tennis Programme, resulting in them receiving free teacher training, resource and equipment.”