The overarching Vision, for the proposed centre, in summary, is to:
- Provide a state of the art tennis/ table tennis centre with a range of modern facilities.
- Create a focus for the young people/ sports participants in Harrogate and the surrounding district and by so doing expand the “base” of players taking part in sports at the centre.
- Facilitate an improvement in the quality of sports coaching, raising the level of coaching staff and as a consequence drive an improvement in the overall capability of all players, this in turn leading to the establishment of a performance centre ‘hub’.
- Create a dynamic / momentum that allows the sports to develop and expand participation thus enabling the sports to keep pace with competitive/ alternative attractions.
- Create a critical mass for efficient use of sports facilities establishing availability for the whole community.
- Establish the operation of the centre as a non-profit, charitable enterprise, ALL surpluses being ploughed back into the enterprise thereby creating a long-term sustainable future for the centre and the sports involved, and being capable of supporting long term, ongoing development.
- Develop a relationship with Harrogate High School to educate and inspire pupils in the benefits of sporting leisure pursuits.
Scope of the project: the basis of the project to establish the new centre was to convert an unusable asset in the form of a lease in a residential zone and supported by additional sports bodies funding into top class sports facilities. The whole process, in two parts, Phase 1 now having been completed, involves:
- The relocation of the Spa Lawn Tennis Club from its current location in Harrogate.
- The provision, improvement and development of sporting and coaching facilities for tennis and table tennis.
- The provision of public and community accessible, including disabled access (wheelchair), sporting facilities, including in particular an indoor tennis arena.
- The co-location of sports at a facility which also provides excellent ‘clubhouse’ facilities in terms of social areas, changing rooms, gymnasium, etc.
- Provision and extension of excellent sporting facilities for use of the HHS pupils and potentially a number of the surrounding schools.
- Location to be provided at the HHS playing fields for consideration of a peppercorn rent in return for a 50 year lease.
- The provision of the only dedicated table tennis facility in the town.
- Provision of a ‘brown field site’ for much needed residential building land.
- Enhancement of, and co-ordination with, the Harrogate Borough Council Local Development Framework, Community Sports Regeneration Area, Action Plan, with which the project has already consulted and recent participation in the H&D LDF working group planning for sport.
- The project is to be funded by a combination of self-provided funds; sports organisation funds and loans; grants and loans from commercial bodies within the town and possibly private members’ loans.