Ripley tennis club set for new facilities

Coun. David Taylor, third right, presents a �200,000 cheque to Ripley Tennis Club chairman Jeremy Hawley at their Heage Road facility on Monday.  Also pictured are from left, their vice-chairman Joan Hislop, secretary Dean Latham, president Derek Oldroyd, club member Derek Bishton, committee member Rachel Keal, Coun Valerie Taylor and committee member Margery Kettle.

Coun. David Taylor, third right, presents a �200,000 cheque to Ripley Tennis Club chairman Jeremy Hawley at their Heage Road facility on Monday. Also pictured are from left, their vice-chairman Joan Hislop, secretary Dean Latham, president Derek Oldroyd, club member Derek Bishton, committee member Rachel Keal, Coun Valerie Taylor and committee member Margery Kettle.

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Members of Ripley and Alfreton Tennis Club are to have new facilities to play with thanks to a £75,000 grant from Sport England.

The club will add the grant money to £200,000 raised from the sale of their old Watchorn Tennis Club site in Alfreton, giving them £275,000 to spend on new facilities.

They say they intend to spend their windfall on a new clubhouse, upgrading their three existing courts and building a fourth.

Mixed second team captain, Rachel Keal, said: “We are absolutely delighted that our bid was successful.

“It now means that we can rebuild the clubhouse which will enable us to offer first class facilities for our existing members and for future members.”

Since the Watchorn and Ripley Tennis Clubs merged in March 2014, the newly-formed Ripley and Alfreton Tennis Club has been working hard to upgrade the club’s Heage Road base.

Now the money from the sale has been released and the grant from Sport England received, the club is in a position to start the work which it hopes will be completed in time for the 2016 season in April or May.

They say they want to thank all those who have helped to put the project together, including Amber Valley Borough Council, Derbyshire Sport, Amber Valley CVS and the club members.

Once the project is complete, the club say they hope to invite the community to an open day where free tennis and coaching advice will be on offer.

Anyone, whether new to the game or returning after a time away from the sport, will be equally welcome. If you are interested in joining the club or would like some more information call 07986 149810.