A COMMUNITY tennis club is getting a £20,000 makeover of their courts from Fred Perry after years of battling to save them.

Hollingbury Park Tennis Courts’ future was in doubt after the council opted to cut funding for sports clubs in 2017.

Fiona Hayes, chairwoman of the community club in Ditchling Road, decided to go to the Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) for help. The LTA got in contact with the designer brand, Fred Perry, who wanted to put money back into grassroots tennis.

She said: “It all happened very quickly in the end, they sent a contractor down a couple of weeks ago.

“He has looked at the courts and basically went ‘yep, I can do it within the budget offered by Fred Perry’ and because the weather forecast is good, he has decided he will start this week.

The Argus: The club welcome all ages and abilities.The club welcome all ages and abilities.

The works are a temporary resurface which Fiona said will last five to seven years, and cost Fred Perry £15,000 to £20,000. A full resurface would cost around £60,000.

Fiona added: “They will deep clean the courts, get rid of all the moss. They will then repair any cracks, seal them and repaint the courts.

“It will be in Fred Perry livery, so black courts with champagne lines and the Fred Perry logo at the top of the court. It will look really lovely."

Fred Perry was a former world number one tennis player who won ten major tennis tournaments mostly in the 1930s.

His brand went on to become world renowned as a major designer label.

The funding from Fred Perry will cover all six of the club’s courts and allow the tennis club to focus on other work to improve the facilities with the money they have raised as a community. The designer brand are also paying for a year’s worth of junior coaching at the club.

The Argus: The courts were last resurfaced 25 years ago.The courts were last resurfaced 25 years ago.

Fiona said: “The money we have raised we will then be able to invest in other facilities, namely a clubhouse which we don’t have at the moment and possibly at some stage, floodlights. That’s a long way off but it’s our long term plan.

“We are very community focused, we want to be able to keep all the courts accessible to the whole community. We don’t want it to become a private club, we want to invite all ages and all abilities.

The club wants to welcome everyone from the community, although Fiona noted that wheelchair access is limited due to the amount of steps leading down to the club.

The Argus: Fred Perry's funding will secure the courts' future for the next 5-7 years.Fred Perry's funding will secure the courts' future for the next 5-7 years.

Hollingbury Park Tennis Courts have been around since 1932, making them some of the oldest in the city.

Now they have got Fred Perry involved, Fiona is keen to rally other businesses to get involved with sponsorship to help the club.

The club has a reopening event planned for Saturday, September 18 which would involve ribbon cutting, a guest appearance as well as several other activities to celebrate the reopening.

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