Number of Scottish indoor tennis courts to double

Andy Murray. Picture: BBC

Andy Murray. Picture: BBC

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The number of indoor tennis courts in Scotland is to double under plans to build a legacy on Andy Murray’s success.

The Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) and sportscotland have announced a £15 million project to “significantly increase participation” in Scottish tennis over the next decade.

Paralympic, Wimbledon, Australian Open champion and Wheelchair Singles World Number One Gordon Reid with children from Dunblane High School at Gannochy National Tennis Centre, Stirling. Picture: Andrew Milligan/PA Wire.

Paralympic, Wimbledon, Australian Open champion and Wheelchair Singles World Number One Gordon Reid with children from Dunblane High School at Gannochy National Tennis Centre, Stirling. Picture: Andrew Milligan/PA Wire.

It will see the number of covered courts rise to 225 from the current number of 112.

Sportscotland chief executive Mel Young said it is the “ideal moment” to capitalise on the success of Andy and Jamie Murray and wheelchair tennis star Gordon Reid, who all finished the tennis year as world number one in their discipline.

Participation levels have grown in recent years on the back of Murray’s success and Tennis Scotland has been struggling to cope with demand.

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Despite producing world-leading players, Scotland has fewer indoor facilities than the rest of the UK, as well as Serbia, Germany, the Netherlands, France and Switzerland.

Sport leaders now hope an increase in covered courts - which are to be built across the country - will make a big difference.

Tennis Scotland chairman Blane Dodds said: “We’ve been working towards this for a while now and are delighted the LTA and sportscotland are supporting what we’re trying to do.

“The Murray factor has had an impact for years - membership has grown from 30,000 in 2007 to 54,000 currently but we think there’s still an opportunity for a massive step change.

“We still have capacity issues, we still have to turn people away from competitions, believe it or not, because we don’t have the capacity in terms of courts.

“With 112 indoor courts, we have one court for every 48,000 people in the country, that’s worse than the rest of the UK, which is one for every 26,000 people, and in turn that’s worse than Serbia, Germany, Holland, France and Switzerland.

“We need to make a difference there - we have the best players in the world from Scotland - and we need to give people the chance to play tennis, and this funding will make a massive difference.”

Tennis Scotland wants to hear from clubs, sports centres and universities that it could work with to create the new indoor facilities.

Mr Young said: “Participation has been growing and that’s one of the reasons why we’re doing this, because there’s a demand.

“We’ve been investing in tennis facilities over the past 10 years but this is extra on top of that and we’re really excited.”

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