MORAY HAS TAKEN a step closer to achieving an ambition of being home to a state-of-the-art Tennis Academy.
Almost a year ago the Moray Sports Centre (MSC) completed an expression of interest for funding to create four covered tennis courts after learning that Tennis Scotland, sportscotland and the Lawn Tennis Association would invest £15million in Scotland for that purpose.
Now it has been revealed that a planning application for the creation of the courts has now been submitted to Moray Council for their approval.
Kathryn Evans, CEO of Moray Sports Centre, said: “We are dedicated to providing the best facilities possible to the area and putting Moray on the map for excellence in sport and healthy living.
“Our ambition is to be the first completed project from the Legacy Fund in Scotland. It would be a huge benefit to all tennis players to have year-round access, not only now but for the future 20-50 years.”
The Legacy Fund seeks to capitalise on the success of Scotland’s former world number one Andy Murray and that of his brother Jamie. It hopes to significantly increase participation in the sport over the next five to 10 years through providing facilities that will encourage, grow and develop players for the next 30 years or more.
Ann Rossiter, Chair Moray Tennis Forum, added: “Having a facility in Moray that will allow all year training and delivery of tennis can only but help with the development of the sport in Moray.
“Covered courts will allow additional competition to be planned, help with the development of Moray Squad sessions for all ages. It will introduce other aspects of the sport to keep the interest going over the winter months – which in turn will help grow the game from grass roots upwards. This will be addressing many of the points covered in the recent Moray Tennis Forum Consultation evening.”
Should the bid be successful Moray Sports Centre could become the regional Tennis Centre in the North. Providing the ability to play tennis year-round, it is hoped it will bring top level coaches to the area to give expert advice to players of all abilities and reduce the expectation to travel south to have access to indoor courts.
Sports Development Officer Kim Paterson said of the plans: “Having covered tennis courts has been a wish for all our Moray Tennis Clubs for a long number of years to help aid the continued development of the sport in the area and it would be fantastic if that became a reality.”
Subject to planning permission, fundraising confirmations and donations the tennis courts could start construction in the summer of 2018.
Meanwhile MSC needs funding and local support to make the centre a reality and are appealing to the community to become involved now.
Kim Paterson added: “We need everyone to buy into MSC to make it a success. The centre will be a hub for health and sports within Moray, but will not happen if we do not receive the funding from sportscotland and support from our community. We need individuals and groups to show their support and work in partnership with us.”
People in Moray can show support by voting for the MSC AVIVA community funding bid to include a specialist ‘changing places’ toilet facility in the centre.
Voting comes to an end on November 21 at https://community-fund.aviva.co.uk/voting/project/view/17-738.