Upgraded Norwich tennis courts reopen

Two newly refurbished tennis courts in Norwich have reopened to the public after being part of a multimillion-pound nationwide investment.

The Norwich City Council owned courts at Harford Park and Alderman Walker Park have been part of an investment programme by the government and the LTA Tennis Foundation to refurbish thousands of public tennis courts in poor or unplayable condition and open the sport up to more people.

The Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) has been working with the city council on the upgrades and as the two courts reopened this week, Alderman Walker Park became part of the Norwich Parks Tennis scheme. This ensures both courts will continue to be invested in and well maintained, so future generations can enjoy them – Harford Park already being part of the scheme.   

Those wanting to use the refurbished courts at Harford Park and Alderman Walker Park will need to buy an annual household membership of £35 for a specific site or £65 to use all sites across the Norwich Parks Tennis programme. There is also a ‘pay and play’ option, which costs £6 per hour. As part of the programme, members can reserve a court online up to 14 days in advance. They can also play after dark under the floodlights for an additional fee at Eaton Park, Lakenham Recreation Ground, Heigham Park and Harford Park. Members can also enter the LTA ballot for Wimbledon tickets and get access to coaching programmes and other tennis initiatives in Norwich.

As well as the refurbishment of these courts and the planned refurbishment of the tennis courts at Bowthorpe Park, Norwich City Council and the operator of the tennis programmes in the parks, the National Tennis Association, will also work with the LTA to deliver a range of activities across these sites. This will include weekly organised free park tennis sessions for all ages, playing levels and experience where equipment is provided, meaning people will not need someone to play with or their own racket. Local Tennis Leagues will also provide friendly, sociable, opportunities to get active through local competition. 

Councillor Adam Giles, portfolio holder for parks and open spaces at Norwich City Council, said: “We are really pleased these Norwich courts were chosen for this investment programme – bringing excellent sports facilities to people in Tuckswood and South Harford, the Heartsease and soon Bowthorpe. Because we want to see these courts used for years to come, the low household membership charge will contribute towards any future maintenance of the courts so they remain sustainable and cost neutral.”

A total of £222,447 from the government and the LTA Tennis Foundation will have been invested in the courts in Harford Park, Alderman Walker Park and Bowthorpe Park.