Winchester and Chandler's Ford MP Steve Brine joined the LTA yesterday to back their announcement of ambitious plans to develop hundreds of new indoor tennis courts in communities across Great Britain over the next 10 years.
The new programme of investment will see three million people given the opportunity to enjoy playing tennis all year round.
Mr Brine attended and event to announce the plans in New Palace Yard at the Houses of Parliament on Wednesday, and took the opportunity to speak to LTA Chief Executive Scott Lloyd on how the governing body is supporting tennis for Britain and its plans to grow the sport.
A total of 96 priority target locations for new indoor courts have been identified by the LTA across England, Scotland and Wales based on detailed new analysis of potential demand through the country.
The new analysis overlays population data against the locations of existing indoor tennis facilities and is part of a new targeted approach to investment driven by Lloyd, with a similar exercise also being undertaken for investment in park tennis facilities.
By adding in a catchment area for each current indoor venue covering a 20 minute drive time, the analysis reveals areas where there are opportunities to build new facilities that meet a demand threshold of potential adult players.
The target locations have been prioritised according to the number of potential players in each area, with demographic profiles of the population for each target community used to ensure new facilities are developed in a way that also helps to broaden the participation base of the game.
Steve Brine said: "I was delighted to be able to pop along today. I've loved the game for many years now and it's do exciting to see these plans."
Scott Lloyd, LTA Chief Executive, said: “More indoor facilities across England, Scotland and Wales are absolutely crucial to our ambition to open up tennis to many more people. When I joined the LTA last year I was determined to make facility investment a priority and use my experience in this area to implement this more targeted approach.
“We are already making progress with several new indoor tennis centres currently going through the planning process in Scotland, and I am looking forward to us working with local authorities and partners in all of our target locations across the whole of Britain”.
The new analysis-driven approach to proactively deliver investment where it is most needed marks a move away from the previous bid-led process. Going forward, the LTA will be working with local authorities and seeking operational partners to help deliver large scale, participation changing, sustainable, community-focused indoor tennis venues.
The new facilities being developed will add to the current total of more than 1,400 indoor courts at over 300 venues across the country, including the existing network of community indoor tennis centres (CITCs) supported by the LTA, commercial clubs and tennis club venues.
Further details, including a full list of the 96 priority target locations and regional maps are available on the LTA website at www.lta.org.uk.