PUBLIC tennis courts at six borough parks have been reopened following a £280,000 programme of improvements.

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 have all reopened to players this week.

The LTA managed project, which has been funded by the UK Government and LTA Tennis Foundation, means people across Dudley can enjoy newly-resurfaced or re-binded courts, along with improved security and an online booking system.

The facilities are available to book in advance at £5 per session via the LTA website, with digital gate access technology only allowing access to pre-booked players.

Halesowen News: Councillor Damian Corfield with Belle Vue pupils Izzy Bailey (aged 10) and Ghassan Sharifth (aged nine)Councillor Damian Corfield with Belle Vue pupils Izzy Bailey (aged 10) and Ghassan Sharifth (aged nine) (Image: Dudley Council)

Councillor Damian Corfield, Dudley Council's cabinet member responsible for parks, said: “Many of our residents young and old are still inspired by one of Dudley’s most famous sporting legacies Dorothy Round, who won Wimbledon many years ago, and this year we saw Wolverhampton’s Henry Searle take the junior title.

“We are delighted to have had the opportunity to improve and secure the tennis courts in our parks, to give youngsters of all backgrounds the chance to progress in the sport.

“Having these better courts will make the sport more accessible and, as I have learnt myself over the last few weeks, it’s never too late to pick up a racket and have a play.”

The LTA and Dudley Council are also working together to deliver free park tennis sessions, with equipment provided, providing regular opportunities for anyone to pick up a racket and play.

There will also be Local Tennis Leagues, giving people chance to get involved in friendly and social local competitions.

Julie Porter, chief operating officer at the LTA, said: “After months of hard work, we’re delighted to see park tennis courts across Dudley borough officially back open to the public, and in better shape than ever.

“Public tennis courts are such vital facilities for getting active and we want as many people as possible, of all ages and abilities, to pick up a racket and enjoy playing tennis."