Tennis Festival marks reopening of renovated park tennis courts in Newcastle

In partnership with the LTA (Lawn Tennis Association) and We Do Tennis – the Community Interest Company appointed to deliver the new city-wide tennis programme – we’re serving up a great weekend of free tennis this May bank holiday weekend to celebrate the reopening of the city’s park tennis courts.

Join us for a free Tennis Festival across six of Newcastle upon Tyne’s parks from Saturday 04 May – Monday 06 May. Free tennis sessions are available to book in Armstrong Park, Elswick Park, Exhibition Park, Gosforth Central Park, Nuns Moor Park, and Paddy Freeman’s Park across the bank holiday weekend, giving people of all ages the opportunity to experience the new courts.

Book your free tennis session

The Tennis Festival across Newcastle’s parks takes place from 10:00-18:30 on Saturday 04 May, 10:00-17:00 on Sunday 05 May, and 10:00-15:30 on Monday 06 May

As operators of the park tennis courts, We Do Tennis will work with us and the LTA to deliver a programme of exciting events and activities across Newcastle’s parks, giving everyone across the city the chance to pick up a racket and enjoy a game of tennis. As well as weekly free park tennis sessions, with equipment provided, the new courts will host Local Tennis Leagues, giving people the opportunity to get involved in friendly and social local competitions.

Seven park tennis venues in the city have benefitted from funding from UK Government and the LTA Tennis Foundation to renovate the tennis courts and open up the sport to more people. The new tennis courts at Armstrong Park, Elswick Park, Exhibition Park, Gosforth Central Park, Nuns Moor Park, and Paddy Freeman’s Park will officially open as part of the Tennis Festival on Saturday 04 May. Leazes Park tennis courts will open in mid-May.

Matt Whitaker, Director of We Do Tennis CIC, said: “We’re going to be launching the new programme in Newcastle with a Tennis Festival weekend from Friday 04 – Sunday 06 May. We will be putting on free sessions for all ages and abilities. These friendly sessions are open to anyone in the area with an interest in playing tennis, or for those that would simply like to find out more about We Do Tennis and what we have to offer. You don’t even need a racket or balls to join the fun – everything will be provided on the day.”

Carol Pyrah. Chief Executive of Urban Green Newcastle, said: “The funding we received from UK Government and the LTA Tennis Foundation has allowed us, in partnership with Newcastle City Council, to revitalise 22 of the tennis courts in the Newcastle’s parks, helping to open up the game for people right across the city.
“The tennis courts in Nuns Moor Park and Elswick Park will remain free to use, and the small booking fee introduced at Armstrong Park, Exhibition Park, Gosforth Central Park, Leazes Park, and Paddy Freeman’s Park, will help ensure the long-term future of the tennis courts and make sure they don’t fall into disrepair. All the money will be reinvested back into the tennis courts for the benefit of local communities.
“We Do Tennis will be introducing LTA Free Park Tennis sessions at every park this year, giving more people the chance to use and enjoy the tennis courts. The free social tennis sessions will be delivered every Saturday or Sunday at 10am by a team of trained volunteers.
“Newcastle’s parks offer some fantastic sporting experiences – from parkrun and football, to yoga and tai chi. The new tennis courts provide another opportunity for local communities to get out and active in their local green space, and enjoy the health and wellbeing benefits that come from spending time in nature.”

Jim Mawdsley, Principal Adviser for events and culture at Newcastle City Council, said: “Tennis is a sport which is growing in popularity, but all too often many courts in local parks have been vandalised or are in a serious state of disrepair, which is why I am delighted at this major refurbishment programme of courts across parks in Newcastle.
“Tennis is a great way for people of all ages to have fun while exercising and is part of Urban Green Newcastle’s drive to encourage more people to become active which the Council fully supports. You don’t have to be the next Emma Raducanu or Andy Murray to take part, but wouldn’t it be great if the next tennis stars of the future could say they started playing the game in the city’s parks.
“The tennis tournament is a great opportunity for people to come along, try out the new courts for free and learn how to access them in the future. I wish it every success.”

The £183,000 investment from the Parks Tennis Project – made possible through a new partnership between Urban Green Newcastle, Newcastle City Council and the LTA – has seen 22 park tennis courts benefit from a range of upgrades. Works have included resurfacing, court repainting, new fencing, and new nets and posts.

To help people to find and book a tennis court near them, new gate-access technology and booking systems have also been introduced at all seven park tennis courts. All courts will be available to book via the LTA website. The new booking systems and gate access technology means it’s now easier for people to get on court by booking in advance to guarantee availability, with a small court booking fee ensuring courts are maintained at their new high standard for years to come.

Through the Parks Tennis Project, the LTA is delivering the biggest ever investment in parks tennis facilities across Britain, providing a significant boost to local sporting facilities. This nationwide programme of investment is seeing thousands of existing park tennis courts in poor or unplayable condition brought back to life for the benefit of communities across the country, providing vital opportunities for children and adults to get active.

Julie Porter, Chief Operating Officer at the LTA, said: “After months of hard work, we’re delighted to see park tennis courts across Newcastle upon Tyne officially back open to the public, and in better shape than ever.
“Public tennis courts are such vital facilities for getting active and we want as many people as possible, of all ages and abilities, to pick up a racket and enjoy playing tennis. Thanks to this investment the sport will be opened up to more players, for years to come.”

Stuart Andrew MP, Sports Minister, said: “We are committed to levelling up access to sport which is so important for the nation’s physical and mental health.
“The Government and the LTA are working together to deliver thousands of refurbished courts across Great Britain, supported by £30 million of investment including in Newcastle upon Tyne.
“These improved tennis facilities in Newcastle will provide the local community with fun opportunities to get active and potentially become the next Andy Murray or Emma Raducanu.”

Book your free tennis session

The Tennis Festival across Newcastle’s parks takes place from 10:00-18:30 on Saturday 04 May, 10:00-17:00 on Sunday 05 May, and 10:00-15:30 on Monday 06 May