Mansfield Tennis clubs nets new club house
One of Nottinghamshire's oldest sports clubs is to get a new lease of life, thanks to a new £140,000 club house development.
For nearly 100 years, players at Mansfield Lawn Tennis Club have been using a former military hut for meetings, events, refreshments and as their changing facilities. The nissan hut was formerly at the old Clipstone Army Camp nearby and was used by soldiers training for combat in the First World War. Many soldiers played tennis at the club during breaks in training.
But now the club, formed in 1883, can look forward to a bright new future in a purpose-built facility which will open up the opportunity to play tennis to hundreds more local people.
Construction work is starting on the new club house this week (w/c 13 May 2019) and is expected to take four months.
Nottinghamshire County Council has contributed £50,000 towards the project from its Local Improvement Scheme (LIS), with the club meeting the remainder of the costs from its own funds and an interest-free loan from the Lawn Tennis Association.
The new club house will provide disabled facilities for the first time and a veranda viewing area for parents to watch their children during coaching sessions and summer camps.
Sharon Cox-Smith, Chairman of Mansfield Lawn Tennis Club, said: "Mansfield Lawn Tennis Club has a long history and replacing our aging club house with a new purpose-built development is a significant moment in that history.
"As a club, we are passionate about the positivity sport produces, how it can help develop people on a personal level and improve health within the community. By developing our existing facilities and improving access to grass roots tennis in the process, we can not only benefit our members, but the community as a whole."
The club has five hard courts (three of which are floodlit) and four grass courts. The grass courts are among a handful that still remain in the county.
As well as being used by its 120 members (including 40 juniors), the club hosts pay-as-you-play sessions for non-members, coaching programmes for young people, social events, open days and family days, as well as doing outreach work in local schools.
The next community event takes place on 18 May (1pm-4pm) as part of the LTA Nature Valley Big Tennis Weekend - details are available from clubspark.lta.org.uk/MansfieldLawnTennisClub
Councillor John Handley, Vice-Chairman of the Communities and Place Committee at Nottinghamshire County Council which approved the Local Improvement Scheme grant for the project, said: "Funding from our Local Improvement Scheme has supported numerous schemes across the county which are designed to improve access to sport for people of all ages and backgrounds - Mansfield Lawn Tennis Club has active members ranging from six to over 80 years of age!"
Councillor Joyce Bosnjak, local member for Mansfield North, who supported the club's application for LIS funding, added: "Mansfield Lawn Tennis Club has been local institution for the last 136 years. It is a real asset to the community that continues to do some outstanding work in promoting tennis and keeping people of all ages healthy. I am proud to support their new club house development which will help to attract even more people to play and secure the club's future for many, many more years to come."