Rundown public tennis courts branded a “shambles” by Sir Andy Murray to be revamped and reopened in time for summer – with more investment in the future.
The move comes after the John Wright Sports Center at the Dilapidated Whitemoss Tennis Courts was slammed by local resident Allan Kay and his daughter Matilda – which caught the attention of two-time Wimbledon champion Andy Murray.
When Allan was shocked he turned up with eight-year-old Matilda last year to find the clay courts locked up and left to rotate.
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He took to Twitter and tagged the tennis superstar – along with his tennis champion brother Jamie and their mum / coach Judy – in a post highlighting the issue.
And to his surprise, the three-time Grand Slam champion took the time out to re-tweet his US Open preparations.
Andy branded the courts for his “shambles” on his Twitter page prompting calls from the public and politicians for something to be done.
At the time South Lanarkshire Leisure and Culture (SLLC), who run the facility, will be able to restore the current council budgets under development.
But they now have plans for resurface and re-line the courts with new nets and posts ahead of the summer holidays.
Allan told Lanarkshire Live: “This is a good progress, a great temporary fix and good news that children and adults can make use of the summer.
“Matilda is a member of the East Kilbride Tennis Club now and will be looking forward to getting more practice in there.
“I hope there will be more funding in the future.”
South Lanarkshire Council’s (SLC) park renovation bid, which was rejected by Tennis Scotland, is earmarked for additional funding.
Tennis Scotland is a scoping exercise at Whitemoss this month that recognizes the level of funding needed to be successful.
East Kilbride Tennis Club head coach Luke Quigley said upwards of £ 200,000 would be needed for a top surface alone but the latest news was “a step in the right direction”.
He told us: “Whitemoss needs massive funding from Tennis Scotland. We tried to fundraise the courts open again but it never came much.
“We’d love to get involved and use the courts to expand our club and use the Pavillion as a clubhouse but we just don’t have the financial support to help the upkeep.
“The council has taken the cheapest option at the moment to make the surface playable, but getting them open for summer is a step in the right direction.
“When Emma Raducanu won the US Open it was all about getting public tennis courts open. Long-term it would be a fantastic plan to look at. “
SLC submitted a Park Renovation Fund Bid to Tennis Scotland at the start of the year with the aim of enhancing Whitemoss Tennis Courts.
The bid was unsuccessful and stipulates funding criteria that tennis courts need to qualify for a ‘park’ within.
After further consultations with Tennis Scotland last month, they confirmed there could still be a scope for funding additional applications within their budget.
East Kilbride MP Dr Lisa Cameron said: “I am delighted to follow up with my Enquiry, which is a work underway to upgrade Whitemoss Tennis Courts to make them available to the public this year. Residents in East Kilbride for this facility for the long term future. “
A spokesman for SLLC said: “Tennis Scotland will carry out a scoping exercise at the Whitemoss Tennis Courts in the near term for development options for the long term.
“This will also help identify the level of funding that will be needed to fund a council’s application, and we will continue to work with SportScotland and Tennis Scotland to find all the opportunities to find the right funding.
“In the meantime, plans are in place to improve the Whitemoss Courts this summer.
“New posts and nets have been purchased and the Council’s Land Services Team will provide a new layer of cresta surfacing, while line tape and nails will complete the work once they have been returned to the supplier, ready to go to court play. ”
Tennis Scotland told Lanarkshire Live they would have made a decision once again.
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