The success of Victoria Park in Newbury is a testament to the value of the local community and council to benefit and inspire those to get on court. Providing a service that is run for the public, the National Tennis Association together with Newbury Town Council is driven to encourage people to get active which is why keeping tennis affordable is their main focus.
For many years, the Victoria Park site was home to under-used, desolate tennis courts. With 3 concrete courts and fewer than 100 people playing it was slowing becoming a troubled site to the local community.
After a difficult dispute ongoing for four years surrounding the stability of the court surfaces, Newbury Town Council with financial support from the LTA, could finally complete a rebuild of the courts and install ClubSpark’s SmartAccess system.
With hard work and dedication, two years later the courts are now ‘buzzing’ with over 670 members playing and over 400 signed up for coaching programmes. In the last year alone, Victoria Park has increased their memberships by 69% and court bookings by 98% – the record across the UK for the fastest growing SmartAccess park site.
Victoria Park players can take advantage of annual memberships, weekly coaching of adult/junior courses, mini tennis sessions or guests can pay and play. There is something to suit everyone.
Allowing players to access the courts without staff onsite, is one of the main reasons for the high success of court utilisation at Victoria Park. The security this adds to players and also in deterring court miss-use has provided flexibility that this park site manages itself. Since installing gated access, Victoria Park has seen a 98% increase in court bookings, which is allowing funds to go back into the maintenance and daily running of the courts.
After reopening back in March 2017, community participation has now enabled the council to continue their work with improving other areas of the park.
“We now have tennis courts in the park to be proud of. The public memberships are going from strength to strength and supported by an excellent National Tennis Association coaching programme which meets the needs of all ages and abilities” - Granville Taylor, Newbury Town Council
This is just a small snapshot of a great success story of what the National Tennis Association are a part of to help grow tennis across the country. The community is at the core of the National Tennis Association who have many initiatives in place to help people in the local area play tennis.