A special ceremony has taken place to celebrate the launch of Brandon’s refurbished community tennis court.
West Suffolk MP Matthew Hancock officially opened the court on Friday when, following a ribbon cutting ceremony, a short tennis taster session was held.
Members of the community are now being asked to make a racket about the new look court which will be free to use for around a year, with bookings to be made through the leisure centre in Church Road.
It is available for use by adults and accompanied children from the town and surroundings, with teenagers also being encouraged to play with their friends.
Chris Arnold, a member of the Brandon Remembrance Playing Fields (BRPF) Committee who volunteered to find grants to pay for the work and a limited supply of tennis equipment, said the court was ‘in a bad condition and dangerous to use’ previously.
“The committee wanted to see the court brought back into use and avoid the loss of a valuable facility which might have been turned into additional car parking.
“This refurbishment will mean that the sport is accessible to all and will enable the community of Brandon to treasure this valuable asset which enhances the entrance to the playing fields and Abbeycroft Leisure Centre.
“It will build new relationships through sports and could be used by local community groups and schools within the town – who knows, there may be a Wimbledon winner of the future about to start their tennis career in Brandon,” he said.
Funding sources for the court included Suffolk Community Foundation’s Stimulus Fund in association with the Lawn Tennis Association, West Suffolk Partnership’s Network Ideas Fund, the BRPF Committee and locality funding from Brandon’s district councillors Peter Ridgwell, Christine Mason, Victor Lukaniuk, David Palmer and Reg Silvester.
In a joint statement, the Brandon councillors said: “Locality Budgets were introduced so local councillors could work with their communities and together find solutions and tailored initiatives to benefit residents.
“This is a great example of where together councillors and community have worked to refurbish this tennis court that will have a much wider knock-on effect on people’s health and provide an opportunity for all ages to come together in Brandon.”