Plans for new 'Fred Perry' sponsored refurbishment of Armley park tennis courts

Armley residents are being consulted about plans for a refurbishment of the tennis courts on Gotts Park - with Fred Perry set to sponsor the work.

Monday, 11th October 2021, 11:45 am

A notice has been placed on the side of the current courts to inform residents about the potential changes.

These would include two of the four courts going onto a central booking system - with a similar system already in place at 11 courts across the city.

Fred Perry will cover the cost of a court deep clean, court repair and re-painting of the four courts if proposals go ahead - with a potential cost of £11,000.

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Armley residents are being consulted about plans for a refurbishment of the tennis courts on Gotts Park - with Fred Perry set to sponsor the work.

Fred Perry began re-painting public tennis courts in 2019 as part of their ‘Court Makeover Programme’ to support community projects and support Fred Perry’s drive for inclusion and increasing the accessibility of the sport.

The Courts in Armley Park were put forward by the regional LTA Team and has been chosen as a preferred site by Fred Perry as it meets criteria of the trust - including a high population of potential users within the community, the opportunity for the community's interest to grow and the investment could also "extend the playing life" of the courts.Fred Perry will also provide funding for schools tennis roadshows (three local Primary schools) and on-going free coaching, according to the proposals.

The Courts will remain free to access and people who don’t want to book can ‘walk on’ to play as they are currently used, the plans state.

Courts can also be reserved online for free for those who want to ensure they have a court on arrival, particularly at busier times.

Armley residents are being consulted about plans for a refurbishment of the tennis courts on Gotts Park - with Fred Perry set to sponsor the work.

Residents can feedback their thoughts to councillors and the Friends of Armley and Gotts Park group before October 20.

A banner has also been placed on the courts with more information.

Speaking to the YEP about the plans, councillor Lou Cunningham said: "We were approached as ward members about the offer which includes a makeover of the courts and some focused coaching.

"Initially one of the conditions of the makeover was that all of the courts would go onto a central booking system.

"As councillors we negotiated for two of them to be left as general open access rather than online booking, in order that anyone who didn’t have digital access wouldn’t be excluded.

"We were also keen for the Friends of Armley and Gotts Park to be involved in the process.

"We arranged meeting with Leeds Parks department, a representative from the Lawn Tennis Association and from Fred Perry along with representatives from the friends of group and agreed that informing our local community and asking for their opinions on the makeover and the booking system was to happen before any decisions were made.

"People can feedback and let us know their thoughts by 20th October either via by email, phone, on the Friends of Facebook group, and we have also installed a banner at the courts with all of the information."

If the community are in agreement then the works will be projected to start in Spring 2022, councillor Cunningham added.

Residents have also spoken to the YEP about their initial thoughts about the plans.

Sarah Hastilow - who uses the courts "multiple times a week" - said she was excited at the prospect of the refurbishment.

She had concerns about people 'moving on' if courts were booked on the system.

However, she said she'd love the idea of lessons for adults as well as children.

She added: "So interesting to see what happens when the refurbishment takes place.

"As adults we’d love to access some lessons too but think the kids ones are only in place for now, which is also great news."

Sharon McConway added: "Keeping everything crossed and excited by the possibility that local schools can hire out the courts mid week for lessons."

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