Serving up an ace surface thanks to grant windfalls

Standing in front of the courts that will be completely resurfaced are, from left, Janet Robinson (club chairman), Paul Beasley (secretary), Jill Taylor (winter team captain), Sarah Robinson, Ben Ord and David Jordan.

Standing in front of the courts that will be completely resurfaced are, from left, Janet Robinson (club chairman), Paul Beasley (secretary), Jill Taylor (winter team captain), Sarah Robinson, Ben Ord and David Jordan.

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Morpeth Tennis Club will serve up three new artificial grass tennis courts following successful funding applications.

The works will involve the complete renewal of the playing surface and underlying sub-base of three of their six floodlit courts to replace the existing worn-out surfaces. They will take place in the spring.

SITA Trust awarded the initiative £36,280, UK Coal’s Potland Burn Community Benefits Fund contributed £4,690 and the Longhirst Hall-based club will put in £4,290 to make up the full project cost of £45,260.

Morpeth Tennis Club chairman Janet Robinson said: “This is tremendous news for the club and the area as it enables us to offer a first-class facility to our members, both present and future, including our 10 teams competing in the local leagues.

“We always welcome new members, including juniors into our coaching programme, and this playing surface will match any in the area and will hopefully attract more people to join us.

“We would really like to thank SITA Trust, our principal funder, and UK Coal for their invaluable support and enabling contributions to this work. Without their support, the new courts would not be feasible.”

The club has embarked on a facilities improvement programme in the past year and a yew tree windbreak was planted in November.

Further plans include a dugout for all six courts – there is currently only one for three of the courts – and the purchase of a mini tractor sand brusher, which will support the courts’ maintenance programme.

Jools Granville, of SITA Trust, said: “We are delighted to have been able to support this project through our Landfill Communities Fund.

“This important source of funding has been available since 1997 and has provided such worthy projects with more than £1.3billion.”

In addition, the club has received £1,000 from British Engines to support junior coaching and £1,050 from Northumberland County Council for equipment and floodlight repairs. This means 2014 was an outstanding year for funding help as £43,020 was awarded in total.

If you are interested in joining the club, find out more on its website – morpethtennisclub.clubbuzz.co.uk – or email club secretary Paul Beasley – paul.beasley6@gmail.com