Game, Set, Match! Bedford Borough's refurbished park tennis courts ready for action

Tennis courts at Southfields Kempston

Bedford Borough eagerly anticipates the culmination of a transformative journey for its park tennis courts, thanks to a significant investment of £370,000 from the UK Government and the LTA Tennis Foundation. As the refurbishment works near completion, Bedford Borough Council is excited to unveil the future arrangements that promise to elevate the tennis experience for all residents.

Councillor Jim Weir, Portfolio Holder for Environment, Highways, and Transport, said, "The refurbishment of Bedford Borough park tennis courts represents a pivotal moment for our community. These facilities serve as vital hubs for sport, recreation, and community engagement, and the improvements will ensure that they continue to fulfil their role for years to come."

Works have already concluded at Allen Park and Southfields, with Bedford Park, Mowsbury Park, and Russell Park soon to follow suit. While the works have progressed, Bedford Borough Council have been working diligently to secure a capable operator to oversee the management of the courts.

National Tennis Association (NTA) has now been appointed to manage the courts, leveraging their extensive experience in managing park tennis courts across the UK. Under their stewardship, access to the refurbished courts will require bookings, with the introduction of court booking fees to ensure sustainable maintenance of the facilities.

Previously, accessing the park tennis courts involved the possibility of finding occupied courts or lengthy queues. Online booking via a website or booking app will bring a new era of simple booking, eliminating such uncertainties. Residents will have the ability to secure court time in advance, through a user-friendly booking system. This ensures immediate access to the court upon arrival, allowing residents to begin their game promptly. For any users who do not have access to a smartphone or the internet, there will be a provision to make a booking with National Tennis Association by phone.

To accommodate various playing preferences, two fee structures will be implemented: a pay-per-hour rate of £6 for one-off games and a household annual pass priced at £40. The annual pass offers two hours of court time per day for less than 80p per week for the whole family. Additionally, a comprehensive coaching program will be launched, catering to players of all ages and skill levels.

The introduction of these fees will contribute to a dedicated fund aimed at financing future repairs and maintenance of the courts. Moreover, Bedford Borough will participate in the LTA's Barclays Free Park Tennis initiative, offering weekly hour-long group sessions where everyone is welcome to join in and all equipment is provided.

In addition to the structured programs, two hours of free informal tennis play will be available at each of the seven park tennis court sites each week. In total, this will deliver fourteen hours of free access to courts for people to play each week.

The Council and NTA are poised to unveil the new management arrangements in the coming weeks, marking a new chapter in the evolution of Bedford Borough’s park tennis facilities.

Further details and updates on the park tennis courts, including booking information and coaching programmes will become available at

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