AECC Tennis Court Project and Fundraising

 

 

March 2019

The courts are now open......

See news article for details of the Court Opening Day

Click on this link to read about how to look after the courts

 

January 2019

Read on to enjoy a great article from our wonderful resident reporter Russell Jenkins..........

 

For a long time now we have been promising a bright future for the club we love.

 

There has been much blood, sweat and tears, heroic fundraising and generosity by members but we can now say that future is upon us.

 

Over the next few weeks the artificial clay courts and new floodlights will be completed, ready for play and our dream of more tennis for more players of all ages every day until 9.30pm will become a reality.

 

Members will have the opportunity to play all year round on five new all-weather artificial green Edelgrass courts, bringing the top level back into use after some years. Our floodlight capacity has been doubled with five new sets of state-of-the-art lights.

 

When we first came to you with our plans we asked you to buy into our vision of Alderley Edge Tennis Club as a destination club for the North West, a truly modern tennis club, while bolstering the tennis offer to each and every section and age group. You did so. This season the club will be able to boast some of the best facilities in the county.  Cheshire LTA support our vision as we received the ‘Club of the Year’ award at the presentations in November.

2019 will be a vintage season ‘under the Edge’ with more tennis played than ever before, more games, more friends made both on court and in the club house and more fun.

 

The season long party kicks off on Sunday March 24 - mark it in your diaries - with an Open Day that is geared to include everyone. The chance to try out the new surface is an exciting prospect, so do please come along.

 

There will be a formal opening in the early afternoon sandwiched between tournaments for adults and juniors and exhibition matches involving our very own Seb Jackson, the coaches and several of our county level juniors. There will be a barbecue tent and the bar will be open. In the afternoon there will be a social tournament.

 

Meanwhile, there is much activity around the club and much to be done over the next few weeks. Members have been very patient over the past week as floodlight construction has meant fewer available courts. That is about to change.

 

This is a good time not only to whet your appetite about the tennis to come but also introduce you to the freedoms that more courts will afford us. One of the drivers behind expanding our floodlit courts was to open up the availability of play in the evenings to many more players. With five additional courts everyone can look forward to playing on winter evenings under lights.

 

Booking floodlights will be made as easy as possible. An online system will help members to check availability and book, even at the last minute and at peak times. A token system will be introduced which allows us to manage the lights better.

 

A five metre net alongside courts 1-8 will offer players greater protection from flying cricket balls and dedicated paths to the courts will keep shoes and courts cleaner.

 

More courts means less waiting, more team matches and more social tennis for all who wish to play. Above all, it offers members a choice of surface.

 

Over the next few weeks members can expect to see….

·         The new paths to courts 9-14 and courts 1-8 completed ensuring mud free walkways.

·         New floodlights on courts 1 and 2 become operational.

·         Courts 9, 11, 13 and 14 change over to the token system

·         The computerised booking system launched for booking the floodlights

·         Five metre fences installed along the cricket boundary

·         Shortly after, courts 4 - 8 opened up for play and the floodlights

 

We are hoping this will be a great summer of tennis at the club we love. We said at the outset of the courts project how lucky we are to be part of our wonderful place under the Edge.

 

On a summer’s day with the sun yet to disappear back over the clubhouse roof it is not difficult to think of the club as a treasure, our treasure. We have done our best to burnish it. Well done. So let’s play.

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