Newark Tennis Club members, left to right, Chris Reek, Jean Bacon, Jane Hendley, Murray Bacon and chairman Andy Cole. 090118TV3-3
Newark Tennis Club members, left to right, Chris Reek, Jean Bacon, Jane Hendley, Murray Bacon and chairman Andy Cole. 090118TV3-3

A club chairman says current plans for a sports village in Newark do not meet its needs, despite admitting it must move to progress.

Newark Tennis Club occupies land at the rear of the former Lilley and Stone School site off London Road, with three all-weather courts. The land is owned by Nottinghamshire County Council and no decisions have been made about its long-term future.

There are no floodlights and the club wants to move to a new site.

Plans for Newark Sports and Community Village, approved last month, include provision for three tennis courts, but Mr Andy Cole, the tennis club chairman, said that was not enough.

“As a club we are standing still,” said Mr Cole, who has been chairman for 25 years. At one point it had more than 400 members, but there are now around 90.

“Most of the membership accepts that we will have to move somewhere,” said Mr Cole.

“We were told by Nottingham-shire YMCA that there would be three tennis courts at the sports village plus some multi-use courts, but we cannot play league matches on those.

“If our membership expands, which it has got to, then three courts is woefully inadequate.

“We still don’t know for sure where we stand with ownership and our identity if we move there. We don’t want to lose our identity.”

For evening matches, the club uses courts on Sherwood Avenue.

Nottinghamshire YMCA has yet to announce firm dates when the sports village will be built, but tennis courts are not included in the first phase of construction.

'We will work with Newark Tennis Club'

A spokesman said: “Our approved design shows five playable courts: three tennis and two multi-use games areas, which is an increase on the current facilities at Newark Tennis Club.

“We will, of course, continue to work with Newark Tennis Club on the access levels for the facilities and public to ensure their concerns are met. It is high on our agenda.”

In the meantime, Mr Cole has been exploring alternatives, including approaching Balderton Parish Council to see if the club could lease land on the village playing fields, off Coronation Street.

- Newark Sports Association says it wants to focus on developing sports facilities across the district, with more information available on its new-look website.

Chairman Mr Tony Colton said: “We intend to bring together local knowledge and expertise to support the development of sports facilities for the benefit of the community.

“The new website will carry information about new funding streams like the Power To Change Booster programme.

“We will support local sports clubs and organisations, schools, parish councils or businesses that want to see better and more accessible local sports facilities.”

The updated website is at www.newarksportsassociation.org.uk