Members of the care, learning and hounsing committee yesterday agreed to look at funding options for a brand new indoor tennis facility.
Two-thirds of the funding for the facility is to be provided through the Transforming Scottish Indoor Tennis Fund (TSITF), with the facility being earmarked to be located next to Inverness Leisure Centre.
Councillor Isabelle Mackenzie said: “I really do feel having an indoor tennis facility is a huge opportunity not to be missed by us. It will serve generations of people, not just a few.
“Racket sports have additional mental health and social benefits across all ages and we should be encouraging participation in sport for health and wellbeing.
“We need to serve up improved facilities to get ace championed for the future.”
Mrs MacKenzie highlighted the case of tennis players from the Highlands having to travel extreme distances for training and welcomed further exploration of the project.
The acquisition of a new indoor tennis facility was not welcomed by all members, with Councillor Andrew Jarvie opposing the exploration of funding opportunities for the indoor tennis court.
He said: “I am somewhat annoyed as we have been told we can’t quite fix these library vehicles for £500,000, yet in the same item agenda, to somehow suggest we should prioritise £500,000 for this tennis court – I just struggle to connect the dots.
“At a time when we can’t even protect and look after the services we have got now, how we are now going on to invest in new services? It seems it is not the right way round to do it.”
The motion, which included the recommendation of a short-term working group as suggested by Councillor Linda Munro, was favourably passed by members with 20 backing the motion, three voting in favour of Councillor Jarvie’s amendment of not progressing further with exploring funding opportunities, and two abstaining from voting.