AECC Tennis Court Project and Fundraising

 

 

Project Update 8th November 2018

 

There has been major progress over the last few weeks as follows:

  • Approval from the General Committee was obtained for the project was obtained on 24th September
  • Approval from Cheshire Planning was given on 16th October for the revised plan for the floodlights (lower columns but more of them, giving less spillage)
  • Following this, contracts with the LTA and Cheshire LTA and the courts contractor were signed on 18th October
  • Construction Commenced on Wednesday 24th October
  • We have now received the funds (£10k) from Cheshire LTA towards the project and we will be 'calling off' funds from both the LTA and the bank as the project progresses
  • In the last few weeks:
    • The club's electricity system has been upgraded to allow for both the new floodlights and other club projects.  We have installed meters to allow us to measure the electricity used by the lights so the section is charged for what we use.
    • New fencing has been installed between the gardens of our Orchard Green neighbours and the courts to replace old dilapidated fencing and also to comply with one of the planning conditions
    • Topsoil has been dug out on all courts and most has been removed from site. The final mound of soil is to be removed in the next few working days.
  • Drainage is currently being installed on top courts
  • The Contract programme is weather dependent and in the last few days wet conditions has hampered the project - but the forecast next week is looking brighter so we hope that the project can progress quickly.

Thanks to everyone who has helped the project reach this stage.  A large number of people within the club have helped to make this happen in all sorts of different way - so a pat on the back to all those involved.

 

There is plenty more to do - but we are on our way.

 

The future is bright (especially on our new floodlit courts)!

 

Looking to the future, we are trying to encourage as many of our members as possible to join the easyfundraising web-site in support of the 'AECC Court Development Project'. This will help us to pay back the loans. Each time you shop with one of the 2000+ retailers who have joined this scheme, we will receive money into our account.  Last year there were only 7 members of easyfundraising, yet we raised over £100.  So with no change to your shopping habits and with more members, we could be raising significant funds towards paying back our loans.  Click here to learn more about how to join

 

Ruth Samuels

Courts Project Lead

Topsoil removal

Clearing vegetation alongside new fencing

New fences installed alongside court 1 and 3

Project Background

 

  • We plan to replace 5 grass courts with an artificial clay surface
  • We plan to install five sets of floodlights - including replacing the temporary lights on court 14
  • We have received planning permission for the project
  • We have received a loan and grant from the LTA
  • We have received a loan and grant from Cheshire LTA
  • We have reached our fundraising target - but will continue to raise money in order to reduce the amount required annually to pay back the loans.....

 

How will we pay back the loans?

 

The loans will require an annual payment from the tennis section.  We currently obtain a surplus from coaching and non-members fees, and we expect this to grow with the additional court availability. We obtain a profit from the three existing floodlit courts and we expect this figure rise, especially given the fact that the new lights will be LED and consume less electricity. We are also continuing to seek sponsorship opportunities. In addition we plan to raise a contribution from an annual ladies lunch / tournament and summer fete teas.  There is of course the opportunity to hold ‘one-off’ occasional fund-raising events to secure additional income. The figures planned to be raised are believed to be ‘prudent’ and the income, especially from floodlights and coaching could be significantly higher than in our budgets. In addition there are other small sources of income which will generate a few hundred pounds each a year, and will add to the overall income. 

Artificial Clay

 

What is Artificial Clay?

  • Artificial clay tennis courts have all the playing characteristics of natural clay but without all the heavy and costly maintenance requirements

  • They use a similar carpet to artificial grass

  • However the carpet is covered by 2mm of a specially designed coloured infill (whereas with artificial grass courts, where the carpet is visible above the infill)

Why Artificial Clay?

  • Better for coaching as the ball is slower
  • Softer on joints than harder surfaces
  • Competition surface for performance players
  • Provides an alternative surface for our players
  • Potentially slower pace is better for older slower players!
  • Preferred by the sub-project team selecting the surface – comprising representatives from coaching, men’s and ladies teams and social players
  • Feedback from reference calls is that players all head for the artificial clay rather than the astro
  • Infill on top of the carpet suggests carpet will wear less and last longer 20 years vs 15 years
  • Similar level of maintenance required as astro – additionally players have to drag courts

 

Thanks to the following companies for their sponsorship:

San Carlo, Dean House Estates