St Ann’s Tennis will be resurfacing the tennis courts at St Ann’s Well Gardens, starting at the beginning of next week (January 29).
A brand new playing surface will be put down on all eight courts, designed to improve drainage, grip and consistency. This will ensure a significantly improved tennis experience for many years to come.
The work is scheduled to start on Monday 29 January 2024. The courts will be closed for six to seven weeks (all of February and half of March) while they prepare the base, and then lay the new playing surface.
Conrad Brunner, director of St Ann’s Tennis, says: “When we took over the site in 2020, we cleaned and repainted all the courts. That enabled St Ann’s Tennis to get going and it’s now a thriving tennis facility however it did not address the fact that the playing surface itself was approaching the end of its life. Macadam courts are designed to last 10-12 years, and we are a long way past that now. They need to be fixed without delay.”
It will take six weeks to prepare the surface, and to fix the ageing drainage system. It will then take a week to lay down the macadam playing surface across all eight courts. Once that stage is completed, the courts will be marked with temporary court markings, with new nets and net posts installed. The courts should then be playable (but not painted) by mid-March. The courts will look like this:
In May 2024, the courts will close again for a further week so that all the courts can be painted. Once that task is completed, the brand new courts will be open as normal. The courts will look like this (!):
Please note that the date of the repainting in May depends on weather conditions. A spell of warm, dry weather is critical to allow the paint to dry properly.
What about our lessons?
All our coaches have been informed about the resurfacing works, and St Ann’s Tennis will not be scheduling any groups sessions during the month of February. Regular groups will resume thereafter, but there will be another week-long hiatus in the Spring, probably in May, when the court painting is completed.
What about the Parks League?
Most of the work will be done before the beginning of the 2024 Parks League season. There will be at least one week out during the season when the courts will need to be closed (probably in May) but we will manage that by finding another venue, or postponing that fixture.
What will the surface be?
We are using an updated macadam surface, similar to the existing surface but much better. The new surface will be grippier, and drain more efficiently. Artificial clay was an attractive option, but we are a public tennis facility, and the maintenance and upkeep required for that surface is not a good fit for us.
Do members get a refund?
No. The works have been timed for the off-season, when court use is at its lowest. Our annual subscription continues to offer excellent value for money and we are implementing extensive court improvements that will add significant value to your membership. We could only compensate players by substantially increasing the annual membership fee. Annual membership for adults is currently £110 (rising to £120 in May 2024.)
Who’s paying for this?
The entire project is being funded by St Ann’s Tennis CIC. We are not receiving any contribution from the council or the LTA. However, we’ve been saving up for this for three years! and have set funds aside specifically for this project. The significant cost of resurfacing eight courts will empty our piggy bank, but that’s fine with us.
Can I help?
Yes! Please support St Ann’s Tennis by renewing your annual membership when it’s due. You can also help our coaching team by booking private and group lessons once the courts re-open.