Tennis Courts Project Archive

Tennis Courts Project Archive

Where will the fourth court be located?

Whilst initially the proposal was to extend into the Parks Depot area, this isnot possible and a proposal to build in thar area where the outdoor gym is currently located has been identified as a viable option.

Where will the Outdoor Gym be relocated?

That has not yet been determined.

Why do we need to build a fourth court?

This is driven by the ambition of the Tennis Club to use four courts together that will enable not only their own club matches to be playable in one venue, but importantly provide the platform through which to develop a full coaching programme for youngsters and in doing so make Tennis more readily available to wider audience within Todmorden.

How will use be decided?

The practical arrangements have yet to be decided but the intention is to use an online booking reservation system.

What is the proposal under the Town Deals Fund?

At this initial stage one scheme to renovate the three existing courts has been prepared and an additional one to also build a new fourth court.

Further consultation will be carried out with the Tennis Club and Friends of Centre Vale Park before a final version is agreed upon and submitted for planning approval.

Proposals for the existing courts renovation include new fencing, floodlighting and door entry scheme.

Is this fully funded under Town Deal?

No. As with all of the Centre Vale Park Projects under the Town Deal there is a gap in funding.

The projected cost for renovating the existing three courts and a new fourth court, including fencing , floodlighting and gate entry system has been priced at c £366k of which £75k has initially allocated towards this from the Town Deal Fund leaving a shortfall of c£225k to be found from the Tennis Club and other grants.

The reality is that this scheme is likely to be reduced in size should other schemes not attract additional funding

Why is there a need for the Tennis Club to contribute £125k?

The requirement for the fourth court is driven by the Tennis Club including floodlighting and upgraded fencing. In looking to make this a private/public use operation and to deliver an overall improved Tennis offer, it is right that a financial contribution be made by the Tennis Club.

What would happen if the financial contribution did not happen by the Tennis Club or they withdrew their support?

The reality is that the ability of the Tennis Club to contribute this large sum is entirely dependent upon them obtaining planning permission for housing development on their existing site and being able to sell to a potential purchaser.

If this were not possible and the Tennis Club were unable to contribute to this, then it is likely that a scheme without floodlighting and fencing improvements would need to be considered.

What else will the project involve?

As with all of the Centre Vale Park Projects it is not just about delivering an element of physical new construction and or renovation , but how it will be sustained in the future, how it will be managed and what outputs are expected to be delivered that will benefit Todmorden residents.

The Tennis Club already delivers an active programme of activity with regular use but has ambitions to increase use and membership further. The opportunity for four courts together in one area provides an opportunity to develop cost effective coaching schemes.

The Tennis Club will also seek to introduce further use into the pavilion as its own casual and competition playing focus increases and tennis coaching schemes become established.

Who will own the Tennis Courts once restored/ new fourth court built?

The intention is for the Tennis Club on contributing their proposed level of funds for a 50 year lease to be created in favour of the Tennis Club by way of Community Asset Transfer from Calderdale MBC.

Should this contribution not be forthcoming then Todmorden Town Council has agreed “in principle” to assume ownership on completion of building works when it is anticipated that a 25 year lease will granted from Calderdale MBC by way of Community Asset Transfer.

Who will manage the Tennis Courts and all of its activities?

The Town Council in offering its support by way of delivering the construction nature of this project, and on completion, either property ownership to the Tennis Club and or itself, is looking to the Tennis Club to jointly manage the operational and financially delivery and be responsible for the day-to-day management of the Tennis Courts.

Accessibility for use and pricing for use will be determined in agreement between the Tennis Club /Todmorden Town Council with Calderdale MBC and under guidance from the Lawn Tennis Association.

Will Todmorden Town Council help to meet the Tennis Courts running costs?

This will depend ultimately on ownership. If owned by the Tennis Club, they will assume all operational and financial responsibility immediately.

If owned by Todmorden Town Council, initially pending the group getting up and running and generating income from use of the Tennis Courts, Todmorden Town Council will provide some revenue support.

For either option the intention is for the group to become financially self-sufficient as soon as possible and through a Management agreement a recharge arrangement put in place to reimburse Todmorden Town Council for such building related expenditure.

Why will Todmorden Town Council not run the Tennis Courts?

Todmorden Town Council does not run services direct that are usually provided by Calderdale MBC unless can done so at minimum risk and cost e.g the Wheelspark

It does not have expertise to do so and the cost of employing this resource and additional administration cost, plus providing cover within a small team would be substantial and require funding through an increase in taxpayers Precept charge.

In this instance Todmorden Town Council is acting as the bridge between Calderdale MBC and the community and users of the Tennis Courts . This “private and or community” sector bid was made for funding on the basis of voluntary ongoing management arrangements and the role of Todmorden Town Council is to try to make this all happen and then handover day to day responsibility.

The same approach will apply to all of the Centre Vale Project Groups in that Todmorden Town Council will only act in this facilitating and enabling role, not post construction delivery of services.

When will grant applications be made?

Todmorden Town Council has agreed to act as the grant applicant for this project.

Grant funders often apply specific conditions some of which could be that certain permissions must be in place already, formal designs completed, land already owned and other matched funding in place. Others are less restrictive.

Each Grant application will need to be considered on its qualifying criteria at the time of submission.

In this instance it is likely that any formal grant application will need to be made once a revised reduced cost scheme has been decided upon and possibly when proceeded at risk to obtain formal planning approval.

What are the next stages for the Tennis Courts project?

Approval of the Overall Business Case for Centre Vale Park Projects will trigger the formal next steps and start to determine the extent of Town Deals Funding available for this project.

Pending approval there are key areas to be progressed apart from seeking grant funding and they relate to: 

Agreement with Calderdale MBC of lease terms for Community Asset Transfer.
Understanding the need or not to obtain /Environment Agency agreement.
Seek Deed of Covenant approval from Environment agency.
Obtain Fields in Trust “In Principle” approval.
Formalising Management Agreements to take on operational and financial responsibility.

When will detailed drawings be prepared and Planning Permission applied for?

One of the major grant opportunities identified for funding of up to £100k requires the project to be “shovel ready” with all permissions in place.

Without funding agreed there is risk in taking the project to this stage given further costs that will be involved.

Timing will depend upon when the Business Case approval from Government is received but it is anticipated to commission these works by the end of January 2023 at the latest with then further grant funding sought once Planning Permission and all other permissions/agreements are in place.

When would construction start?

We need to be realistic that just grant applications on their own can take several months to be processed and approved and even applied for only at certain times of the year. Whilst we are aiming to have grant support by March 2023 there are no guarantees on this.

Other permissions will also take time to be obtained and hence why we are starting on several of these already ahead of the formal Business Case approval.

In terms of construction the ambition is to be in a position to start construction by Feb 2024 .To do so we will need to be in a position to issue tenders for potential contractors to respond to by Sept/Oct 2023.

Is there a group in place to take this forward once the Bowling Pavilion has been restored?

We are fortunate that the Tennis Club have been established for over 100 years and have an active existing membership and plans to grow such membership.

In the event that the Tennis Club were not involved, then ahead of construction completion a “back to back” agreement would be put in place to in practice pass back operational and financial responsibility to Calderdale MBC.

What are the project timelines ?

These are all subject to funding availability and permissions where and as require but the Outline Project Plan is as detailed below:

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