TENNIS fans have launched a campaign to save three indoor tennis courts put at threat by renovation plans.

A group of concerned tennis players, who regularly use the facilities at Ulverston Leisure Centre, have been collecting signatures for a petition against the removal of three indoor courts.

Ulverston manufacturer GSK committed £2m to develop a purpose built sports centre even after it sent shockwaves through the town when it announced it was pulling the plug on its biopharm plant.

Under the renovation plans, which have been revised as funding fell short, the new centre would have a 25 metre six lane swimming pool, a four-court sports hall, with space for one tennis court as well as two outdoor ‘air halls’ which will be outdoor sports courts with an air bubble covering them to provide all year-round use.

A spokeswoman for Save South Lakes Tennis said: "There are a lot of social groups who use the leisure centre.

"They’ve cut down on what was originally a tennis club.

"We’ve lost the outside courts in the winter to football. With four indoor courts that’s a total of 16 people playing. With the new courts there won’t be that cohesion of a group of people playing.”

Plans to reduce the current tennis facilities have been made for funding reasons.

The Save South Lakes Tennis group plan to present the petition to councillors at South Lakeland District Council today.

They hope to buy more time to come up with a solution to save more if not all of the tennis courts.

Members of the group plan to address the committee.

Critics have previously slammed the current facilities as a "little dated" and complained about condensation running down the walls.

Speaking shortly after GSK announced it was pulling the plug on its biopharm plant, Councillor Graham Vincent, SLDC's economy and assets portfolio holder, said: "Ulverston is an expanding town, and that is a key part of this plan. We will need up-to-date leisure facilities." The full planning decision is set to be at the SLDC meeting tonight.