Free tennis courts reopen to the public in Bridlington

Chris Jinks at Bridlington's Dukes Park Tennis Courts.
Chris Jinks at Bridlington's Dukes Park Tennis Courts.

Public tennis courts will once again be available for Bridlington residents and visiting holidaymakers after being closed for several years.

The four all weather courts, at Dukes Park, have been brought back in to use by East Riding Council and will be managed by Bridlington Lawn Tennis Club years after they had been shut on health and safety grounds.

An open day will be held this Saturday, April 20, from 10am-4pm to encourage locals to go along and try them out.

President of the club, Chris Jinks, said: “The tennis club highlighted that we were the only town in the area not to have tennis courts available both to the public and of course those holidaying in the town. We were delighted when East Riding of Yorkshire Council made contact in 2012 to encourage a joint project with the club to restore the four hard surfaced public courts.”

East Riding Council spent £75,000 from commuted sums to refurbish the courts. This money comes from private developers, who are obligated to provide outdoor playing space when they build new housing projects. If they cannot, a sum of money is given to the council to be spent on projects such as this.

Treasurer of the Bridlington club, Barry Beckett, said he hoped the new facilities would encourage people to take up the game - and increase club membership.

“We were always happy to try and accommodate players who wanted a game of tennis, and offer them coaching. But some people like to try out a sport first, especially youngsters, so we are hoping that people will come along and try out the courts, enjoy it, and maybe join the club,” he said.

“We always had holidaymakers get in touch with us - and we had to tell them; there isn’t anywhere in Bridlington. From that point of view, it will be a big boost.”

The courts will be opened by the Chairman of East Riding Council, Coun Chad Chadwick on Saturday and the open day will see free coaching, racquets and tennis balls available - as well as a range of competitions and free draws with prizes. Free light refreshments will also be on offer.

Courts will be managed by the club and will be free to use, without booking. Bridlington Lawn Tennis Club boasts around 70 adult members and 30 juniors. In the past, they have had up to 90 juniors turning out, and with the addition of the free courts, it is hoped that more will sign up.