St Ann’s Tennis CIC has been created with the full support of Brighton & Hove City Council.
Rob Walker, Head of Parks, said: “Within Brighton and Hove some sports have been run with a public subsidy with one of the largest subsidies going into tennis.
“As council budgets have been reduced, the council can no longer keep facilities across the City in a usable state. Officers were tasked with discussing how to deliver savings on sports provision with the users and agreeing the least damaging way of delivering them. As this has proved to be a long process the tennis facilities around the City have continued to deteriorate during the process. After lengthy discussion with tennis clubs and the Lawn Tennis Association, a number of clubs/ Community Interest Companies [ CICs] have taken over the running of courts to save courts in their park.
“With no charging, there will be no courts. When the council employed attendants to collect the money the cost of the attendant was similar to the money collected so on sites where clubs/CICs have taken over they are moving towards on line booking and electronic gates.
“Up to now, when clubs/CICs have taken over the Council has been able to hand facilities over in a reasonable state however as time has gone on they have got worse and St Ann’s CIC has had to invest in the courts to get them into a reasonable state. All of the recent work carried out on the courts has been paid for by the CIC. The Council will be making a small contribution and mending the back fence which has partially collapsed.”