Thursday, August 29, 2013
Withycombe’s tennis and fitness centre is currently undergoing a £180,000 refurbishment.
The work is part of a £220,000 refurbishment of two of the district’s key leisure facilities, the other being Sidmouth Leisure Centre.
Over £80,000 is being spent on replacing the surface of the tennis courts – the carpet is starting to wear out and is being replaced, writes David Beasley.
A further £35,000 to £40,000 is being spent replacing the lighting with modern high power lower energy lighting.
The remaining cash, around £48,000, is being invested in the translucent overhead roof panels above the indoor courts.
The old panels have aged and become more opaque and these will be replaced, allowing in more natural light.
The work is taking place during the summer holidays.
The centre has tried to keep two courts available for use while works take place on the other courts, but this week all four courts will be closed while the main playing surface is replaced. Keen tennis players will, however, be able to keep playing by using the acrylic courts and the outdoor courts at Phear Park, which can be booked through the tennis and fitness centre or at the Phear Park Cafe.
The tennis and fitness centre receives over 100,000 visits each year.
It is used by many local clubs, as well as Exmouth Community College and by the Devon county teams, and by many youngsters receiving coaching.
So the newly recarpeted courts will make a significant difference to both recreational and competitive players.
Centre manger Jo Louis said that the carpets had a 10-year lifespan, and they were in year eight.
“It’s just wear and tear,” she said. “I would expect that the courts will be available for use towards the end of the first week of September”
Mike Hooper, the head of business development for facility operators LED Leisure Management Ltd said: “LED is extremely pleased that East Devon District Council has taken such a positive attitude towards maintaining and improving the quality of these leisure facilities.
“We will continue to ensure that they are excellently managed for the enjoyment of local customers of all ages.”