COUNCILLORS have approved the £120,000 refurbishment of tennis courts in Barry and Penarth.

Tennis Wales had submitted plans to offer a grant to the Vale of Glamorgan council to cover the cost of the refurbishment, which would see the surfaces upgraded and the introduction of pay gates to monitor usage, with the money raised reinvested into tennis in the Vale of Glamorgan.

The council heard how the courts at Millwood in Barry, Wenvoe, and the two courts at Penarth Athletic Field were in “a poor condition”

Following the works, Tennis Wales would manage and maintain the courts at Millwood and Wenvoe, after a seven-year lease was agreed with the council.

The courts at the Penarth Athletic Field would continue to be operated by the council until a transfer of responsibilities is agreed with the Penarth Athletic Club.

At a cabinet meeting on September 8, Vale councillors agreed to accept the Tennis Wales grant, and to hand over the maintenance and management of the courts at Millwood and Wenvoe to Tennis Wales, “subject to upgrading works being satisfactorily completed” and providing there were no objections received.

These proposals follow on from the renovation of the courts at Romilly Park, which reopened in July.

“This is a great opportunity for this council to have four tennis courts improved to a good standard, such as at Romilly Park,” said Cllr Gwyn John, cabinet member for leisure, sport and wellbeing.

“When we opened Romilly courts a few months ago, it was great to see 300 children down there that day.

“Tennis has only been looked upon as being played during the Wimbledon fortnight. Everyone wants to grab a racquet after that. Certainly they don’t stay with the game.

“But with the good facilities that we’re now providing, I think this could be a big boost for the sport in the Vale of Glamorgan.”

Leader of the council, Cllr Lis Burnett, said: “Anything that we can do, particularly through working with others – because its only by our collective efforts that we can achieve things like this – if we can increase the level of physical activity and sporting activity amongst people in our community, it can only be a good thing.”