LTA and sportscotland pump £15m into indoor court development

Sportscotland and the Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) have teamed up to launch a £15m (US$18.5m, €17.8m) project to double the number of covered courts in Scotland.

The ambition is to increase the number of courts protected against the weather from 112 to 225 over the next five to 10 years, with the “end objective” of boosting participation in tennis.

Michael Downey, the chief executive of the LTA, said the governing body wanted to capitalise on “an historic year for British tennis”.

In 2016, Andy Murray won his second Wimbledon and Olympic titles, his brother Jamie became the first British man to become world number one doubles player and Jo Konta broke into the Top 10.

“We must create a lasting legacy with a purpose-built plan for Scotland,” he added.

“This investment will make tennis more accessible in the years to come, bringing certainty of play to a climate that sees on average 200 days rain a year and in a country that is under-resourced versus the rest of Britain and other European nations when it comes to the number of covered tennis courts per capita.”

The projects is being undertaken in collaboration with Tennis Scotland, although the £15m investment will be split evenly between the LTA and sportscotland.

Blane Dodds, the chief executive of the organisation, said the level of investment may “come once in a lifetime” so it “must be maximised throughout Scotland”.

Community-led bids for the funding will begin being considered in April 2017, and is stage one of the LTA’s community-based funding programme.

Further announcements about funding opportunities for the rest of Great Britain will be revealed throughout 2017.

First published www.sportsmanagement.co.uk, 20 Dec 2016, written by Matthew Campelli