TENNIS courts at six parks across the borough are to be improved after Dudley Council netted a grant of more than £280,000.

The cash, from the Lawn Tennis Association (LTA), will be used on courts at Huntingtree Park in Halesowen; King George V Park in Wordsley; Mary Stevens Park and Wollescote Park in Stourbridge; Priory Park in Dudley; and Silver Jubilee Park in Coseley.

A number of courts will be completely resurfaced, with re-binding works taking place at others to preserve newer existing surfaces.

As part of the work the LTA will also make the courts more secure with new fencing.

Digital gate access technology will also mean only players who have pre-booked the courts will be able to get onto them using special keypads and pin numbers.

Work is expected to start this month.

Councillor Damian Corfield, Dudley Council's cabinet member responsible for parks, said: "Through the legacy of Dudley’s own Wimbledon champion Dorothy Round, whose statue stands proudly in Priory Park, tennis has always had a connection to our borough.

"Having said that, Dorothy’s victory was a long time ago and I would love to see another Wimbledon champion from Dudley in the near future.

"This is a once in a generation opportunity to improve and secure the tennis courts in our parks, to give youngsters of all backgrounds the chance to progress in the sport.

"I would expect that being able to offer better courts will make them much more popular with local people. It’s a real win win situation, and I look forward to seeing the finished works."