A NEW state-of-the-art tennis centre is ready for players to step on to court – with hopes of becoming an all round winning combination for the community.

Barrow’s first all-weather floodlit tennis courts at Hawcoat Park Sports Club are now open to the public after nearly two years in the making.

The tennis centre is available for schools, community groups, coaching, Barrow Tennis League and for hire by members of the public.

The centre was built thanks to a grant of £68,146 from the FCC Communities Foundation, as well as funding from Sport England, the Sir John Fisher Foundation and Cumbria County Council.

It is made up of six new all-weather courts, with three of the courts also benefiting from the upgrade of the existing floodlights. Hawcoat Park also has grass courts which have been retained.

Keith Allen from Hawcoat Park Sports Club said there was a real demand for a new facility in the Barrow area.

He said: “The loss of tennis provision was not due to a lack of demand for tennis, but the result of difficult political decisions being made.

“A tennis facility at Hawcoat Park will hopefully move the area forward and provide a much-needed community facility. The centre is all about getting people playing sport. We’ve lost a lot of courts in the area over the past five years so hopefully this centre will get people playing tennis again.

“Since opening, from word of mouth alone we’ve gone up from 15 to 90 members.”

Mr Allen said the feedback from players about the new facility had been ‘brilliant’.

“Everyone loves the new courts,” he said.

“It’s fantastic to play on. It’s a unique facility for the whole community of Barrow – not just a ‘members only’ facility.” The centre also has a pay and play option which allows non-members to access the courts using their phone. If you’re interested in playing, visit: https://clubspark.lta.org.uk/HawcoatParkSportsClub