Press Release – Sport England Funding – 17th July 2012

Raynes Park Residents’ Lawn Tennis Club is delighted to say that it has been successful in a bid for funding which was made to Sport England. Today it was announced by Sport England that they would make a grant of £30,000 to the Raynes Park club under their “Places People Play” legacy programme.

The award will allow the club to relocate to a new larger site on the former London Electricity Sports Ground (LESSA) site at 119 Grand Drive SW20. The new site offers 5 brand new tennis courts and a new clubhouse building. The Sport England award will provide funding for supplementary facilities, including floodlighting for two of the courts, a paved spectator area, internal furnishings for the clubhouse, secure weldmesh fencing around the courts and an equipment storage shed.

It is intended that the club will be in operation on its new site in 2013.

The local community tennis club, which has been in existence for over 60 years, has recently been awarded “Clubmark” quality accreditation by the Lawn Tennis Association. It currently operates from a site at 129 Grand Drive SW20. These premises are restricted in size and only provide for 3 tennis courts. The new site is located only about 300 metres away from the existing site, so all existing members will easily be able to get to it.

The club, which has always welcomed new members of all ages and playing abilities, should be able to expand its operations when it moves to the new site. The club confirmed that it will be able to bring the game of tennis to more local people than it would have been able to do had it remained on the existing site. Full details about the club can be found on its website .

A spokesman for the club said: “This is very exciting news indeed for the club. It represents a major step forward for its expansion, which we have been working towards for over 4 years. The club, which is able to offer tennis coaching to both juniors and adults, is always keen to accept new members, even before the relocation takes place.” The spokesman went on to say: “We believe that our club offers a welcoming and friendly environment for people to enjoy the game. We have members ranging in age from 5 to 90 years old, and we welcome new members ranging from complete beginners to experienced players and potential champions.”

Wimbledon’s MP, Mr Stephen Hammond said: “I am delighted to learn that Raynes Park Residents’ Lawn Tennis Club has been successful in its bid. It will enable the Club to offer tennis to more of my constituents. As a tennis player myself, I look forward to being invited to play at the new facility in due course!”

For many years the LESSA site had lain unused and derelict. The 5 tennis courts and the new clubhouse building were provided as part of a development project undertaken by Bellway Homes. As part of the planning permission for the development of the LESSA site, Bellway have built houses and flats on a small part of the site and have enabled the remainder of the site to return to active sports use.