A MAJOR new investment is set to improve tennis facilities in Middlesbrough.

Under proposals to be considered next week, land comprising disused clay courts at the independently owned Tennis World could be sold off to enhance and improve the site.

The move would see the disposal of just under one hectare of the Marton Road facility for possible housing development.

The sale would then pave the way for investment of around £200,000 in a series of improvements including:

 Upgrades to internal and external playing surfaces

 Replacement of existing internal and external lighting with LED lighting

 Car park improvements

 Essential roof works

 Enhanced access facilities.

The proposal is in line with Middlesbrough Council’s Sports Strategy which includes a commitment to enhance sporting facilities across the borough.

Details of tender proposals for the land sale will also be considered at next Wednesday’s meeting.

As part of the agreement, Tennis World’s lease will be re-negotiated from 125 years to a 25-year term with an option for a 25-year extension.

Key to the proposal is a commitment by Tennis World provide court time and coaching alongside access for health intervention programmes.

It is hoped a strategic partnership between the Lawn Tennis Association, Tennis World and Middlesbrough Council will help to break down barriers to participation across communities and reduce health inequalities.

Councillor Nicky Walker, Middlesbrough Council’s Executive Member for Finance and Governance, said: “Tennis is currently enjoying a golden era in the UK, and that’s reflected in the sport’s growing popularity locally.

“We’re committed to making tennis more accessible to the whole community, and Tennis World’s location next to the flourishing Middlesbrough Sports Village makes it ideally suited to do just that.

“We’ve worked closely with Tennis World for a number of years, and this proposal gives us a great opportunity to strengthen that relationship still further.

“This investment will enable the provision of better facilities, which will open the sport up to more people than ever before, and further add to one of the region’s leading sports hubs.”

A report on the proposed Tennis World investment will be considered by the Council’s Executive Sub-Committee for Property on Wednesday, May 25.