TV presenter and former British tennis number one Andrew Castle will be in Grantham today (Friday) to mark the start of a £3.2 million project to build a tennis centre.
Mr Castle has been invited by Grantham Tennis Club to lead the groundbreaking ceremony at Arnoldfield, in Gonerby Road.
It is the start of a “brave” plan which will see Grantham get an indoor tennis centre with four indoor acrylic courts, a social lounge, café, gym, changing facilities, treatment rooms, office and indoor and outdoor viewing areas.Outdoors, there will be four artificial grass courts, four mini red hard courts and five artificial clay courts.
Funding for the project has come from a Grantham business and from the Lawn Tennis Association (LTA), which has provided £1m for the project in grants and loans.
Club chairman Lianne Tapson said: “In 2009 we were asked by Lincolnshire LTA ‘how brave do we want to be with our development plans’ and the answer was braver than most – four years of planning, adjusting, manoeuvring and negotiating has brought us to the point where we are now able to begin our project in earnest.”
The first sod will be turned by Ms Tapson and Mr Castle.
Ms Tapson said: “Andrew is a friend of Grantham Tennis Club and a patron of the charity which has been set up to promote tennis in the community.
“He is certainly no stranger to getting his tennis kit on and playing a few points with our club members and guests.”
The new tennis facility will be built by Clegg Construction.
Managing director Simon Blackburn said: “This is an exciting project to be involved with and will see the creation of one of the very best tennis facilities in the country.
“Work on site will be completed in two phases which will allow the existing club to remain open while work is completed.”
Building work is expected to be completed by spring next year.