Could new tennis centre produce Harrogate Wimbledon champion?

Pictured (L to R) are head of Barber Titleys property department, Richard Davis, a partner, with Nigel Bentley of Harrogate Spa Tennis Centre. Picture: Giles Rocholl Photography Ltd 2015

Pictured (L to R) are head of Barber Titleys property department, Richard Davis, a partner, with Nigel Bentley of Harrogate Spa Tennis Centre. Picture: Giles Rocholl Photography Ltd 2015

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Could this construction site become the home of Harrogate’s very own future Wimbledon champion?

Work is underway to build a major multi-million pound tennis centre on land at Harrogate High School.

Nigel Bentley and Spa Lawn Tennis Club need congratulating on their vision of the future for tennis in Harrogate and sticking with this hugely complex task which we hope can help the town nurture many more tennis players, and who knows, perhaps a future Wimbledon winner

Head of property at Barber Titleys, Richard Davis, a partner

The project has been negotiated over the past decade by the Spa Lawn Tennis Club and its chairman Nigel Bentley.

The first phase of construction follows an exchange of contracts for the new Harrogate Spa Tennis Centre to lease land at Harrogate High School with six full-size outdoor courts due to be in use in August.

The partnership will see the centre being used by students choosing tennis as part of their curriculum studies and being taught by professional coaches.

The new centre will allow Spa Lawn Tennis Club to leave its base in Kent Drive, where the tennis facilities are no longer appropriate for the modern game.

Mr Bentley said: “Tennis is a fantastic, inclusive sport but, if it is to thrive at grassroots level, we have to broaden its appeal. We currently have members aged from five to 87 but the membership is declining because the basic facilities are inadequate for the modern game. This spurred the search for new premises and the opportunity to develop significantly enhanced facilities.

“For UK tennis to prosper we need to create more centres attractive to young and old and where people can play all year. The Lawn Tennis Association supports the new centre and provided funding for the planning process and a bridging loan for the initial development.

“Getting this far has been highly complex but worthwhile as the scheme has huge potential for tennis and table tennis in Harrogate. We could not have got this far without Barber Titleys first-rate support and advice.”

Negotiations for the new centre have involved Spa Lawn Tennis Club obtaining planning consent from Harrogate Council for 13 homes on its Kent Drive site and relinquishing its lease. All legal contract work on behalf of the tennis club has been handled by Barber Titleys solicitors.

Head of property at Barber Titleys, Richard Davis, a partner, says: “Nigel Bentley and Spa Lawn Tennis Club need congratulating on their vision of the future for tennis in Harrogate and sticking with this hugely complex task which we hope can help the town nurture many more tennis players, and who knows, perhaps a future Wimbledon winner.”

Three of the new courts will feature floodlit artificial grass with a further three tarmac courts. The first phase of construction also includes a new access through Claro Park, the re-location of the club’s temporary club house, a car park and taking utility services to the site. The work is being carried out by HACS Group.

Phase Two of the development of the tennis centre, which is subject to securing further funding, aims to provide four indoor courts, changing rooms, café/bar, a gymnasium and a table tennis suite, and to start by the year end.