Abingdon tennis courts receive £165k upgrades

The White Horse Leisure and Tennis Centre is now ‘ready for tennis’ at any time of the year.

The council has installed a new sand-based artificial turf pitch at four tennis courts at the centre.

These courts can be used in all weather conditions throughout the year.

The old astroturf, which was no longer suitable for sports, has been removed and stored by contractors for repurposing.

In the past, similar surfaces have been reused for community landscaping projects as erosion control or rainwater harvesting, and can be used as flooring for outdoor classrooms and golf putting greens.

Councillor Helen Pighills, cabinet member for community health and wellbeing, said: “We know sport is vitally important for our health and wellbeing so, as a council, we are investing in our existing leisure centres to update and upgrade them to make them the best they can be for everyone who uses them.”

The upgrades, funded by £165,500 of developer contributions, follows recent enhancements such as the refurbishment of the vanity area, the addition of a wheelchair accessible area, and the upcoming renovation of the reception area.

Contractors have been appointed to carry out energy-saving work at the White Horse Leisure and Tennis Centre and Wantage Leisure Centre.

The planned works include the installation of insulation, new windows, solar panels, air source heat pumps, and external wall insulation.

Once completed, this project is expected to decrease the council’s overall carbon emissions by more than 25 per cent.

This work is expected to be finished by March 2025.

Councillor Andrew Crawford, cabinet member for finance and property, said: “Thanks to the new green technology which is going to be installed at both leisure centres in Wantage and Abingdon, energy bills will be greatly reduced.

“This means the leisure centres are sustainable both financially and from a climate point of view.”

Alongside this energy-saving project, the council has outlined plans to refurbish the wet side changing rooms at Wantage Leisure Centre in the coming year.

This follows on from the recent addition of solar panels and air source heat pumps at Faringdon Leisure Centre last year.

Those measures should save around 500,000kWh of energy over a year – the equivalent to the annual electricity use of 135 houses.

Councillor Debra Dewhurst, cabinet member for leisure centres and community buildings, said: “We’re proud that the White Horse Leisure and Tennis Centre is used for professional tennis tournaments so it’s really good that we’re able to maintain them for competition standard.”

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