Bury's sustainable tennis development

The tennis redevelopment programme has been achieved as part of a long standing partnership between Bury Council and the Lawn Tennis Association (LTA). The successful pilot project at St Mary's Park has led us to build a borough-wide approach to providing sustainable high quality tennis facilities. Our ultimate aim is to:

  • provide access to high quality sustainable facilities;
  • support residents with adopting a healthier, more active lifestyle;
  • widen access to a sport that, given the opportunity, people of all abilities truly enjoy.

Seven out of ten parks have been prioritised for redevelopment following a condition survey undertaken by the LTA, including Bolton Road Park, Hamilton Road Park, Manchester Road Park, St Mary's Park, Nuttall Park, Openshaw Park and Whitehead Park. Community engagement has taken place at various stages of implementation of the programme and local people and local councillors have been given the opportunity to share their views with the Bury Live Well Service.

The capital investment programme involves:

  • resurfacing, re-painting and remarking the tennis courts;
  • upgraded fencing and new posts;
  • installation of an access system linked to online bookings;
  • introduction and ongoing development of online bookings;
  • introduction of community coach led sessions;
  • introduction of an affordable charging structure with a choice of options.

More information about the development programme is provided below in a question and answer format

Your questions answered

Why are you introducing a charge to use the tennis courts?

Unfortunately, there is insufficient council funding available to continue to maintain all the tennis courts. This means we must adopt a different approach if we are to sustain tennis courts in parks. Introducing a fee to use the courts will enable us to keep them in good condition.  Other councils in other areas have already adopted a similar approach.

When will charges for tennis courts be introduced?

We plan to introduce the new charges for tennis courts throughout May and June 2021

How much do you intend to charge for using the tennis courts?

Following advice from the LTA and based on pricing policies at parks in other areas, the range of options will be:  

  • £50-60 for annual pass for a household (unlimited year round bookings).
  • £25-35 for annual pass for adults/over 16s (unlimited year round bookings). 
  • £6-10 for annual pass for juniors/under16s (unlimited year round bookings). 
  • £6-8 per month for monthly pass (unlimited bookings per month)
  • £4 per court for pay as you play/single court booking (1 hour session). 

Will there still be any free access to the tennis courts?

Tennis courts will still be free to use for 16 hours per week. 

  • Free courts will be subject to availability and must be booked online in advance.

Tennis courts at Clarence Park, Close Park and Town Meadow Park will continue to be offered free of charge until we roll out the development programme.

How do I pay for a pass and make court bookings?

Passes can be paid for at the online court bookings portal at Bury Tennis.

What will happen with the money from court bookings?

The income from court bookings will invested into the tennis facilities and coaching programme.  It will be used to help maintain the facilities and activities for users and if sufficient income is generated, to fund more development such as installation of flood lighting.

Why is Bury Council working in partnership with the Lawn Tennis Association?

To take advantage of their considerable expertise, to gain support in developing our tennis offer across the borough, to take advantage of significant external funding and to realise our vision to improve and sustain all 24 of our tennis courts across the borough.

How much is being invested in tennis?

The improvement programme costing approximately £600,000 funding joint by Bury Council (approximately £400k) and external (approximately £200k). 

Why did you choose St Mary's to pilot this new approach?

Because an LTA survey of our tennis facilities told us that the tennis courts at St Mary's were in greatest need of maintenance and that more people already use the courts at St Mary's than they do in other parks.

Has the number of registered users increased since St Mary's tennis courts were refurbished?

Yes. The number of users has grown from around 200 to over 1800.

What measures have been taken to prevent vandalism of courts and dog fouling?

We have installed an integrated access system linked with online court bookings. This provides a locked gate which utilises the very latest technology and has been funded in partnership with the LTA.

What has changed to make it easier to play tennis when I want to?

To make it easier to find and book courts at a time and venue that suits you we have introduced online court bookings. By booking courts in advance users can play tennis when they choose to do, without the need to wait for a court to come free. Online bookings are linked with the access system, so only people that have pre-booked online can gain access to the courts. Online bookings are made at Bury Tennis

Will there be more opportunities for people to learn to play and improve their game?

Yes, a programme will be made available to provide low-cost coaching opportunities. These will include:

  • Adult coaching programmes
  • Junior coaching programmes

Will any free coaching be available?

Yes, in partnership with Tennis for Free (a national charity). The Community Parks Tennis Coach will provide free tennis coaching for 1 hour per week. At Tennis for Free sessions the coaching, the tennis courts and all equipment are provided free of charge.

Will there be any opportunities for competitive play for regular tennis players?

Yes, via Local Tennis Leagues and the Bury Park Tennis League.

My community group is interested in getting involved in a community tennis network, what should I do?

Contact Bury Sport and Physical Activity Service at email sports.development@bury.gov.uk.

Contact for Parks and Countryside Service