A four-court indoor tennis centre is being earmarked for Inverness – but not everyone wants it.
The Highlands have been identified as a “priority location” for such a development by a national body which has £15million to invest in tennis in Scotland.
Councillors are this week to be asked this to sanction that further project development work and funding applications are progressed.
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Tennis Scotland, SportScotland and the Lawn Tennis Association last year launched the Transforming Scottish Indoor Tennis Fund (TSITF).
The Care, Learning and Housing Committee meets this week and will consider the proposal for an indoor tennis centre.
In a report to councillors, Brian Porter, head of resources, said: “The TSITF, which is a key part of the Transforming British Tennis together initiative, will see significant investment into Scottish tennis facilities over the course of the next ten years, with £15million committed by this partnership for the development of regionally based indoor tennis centres in Scotland.
“Highland has been identified by Tennis Scotland as a priority location for indoor tennis court development.
“The proposal is to create a new tennis centre situated in Inverness.
“The Highland Tennis Centre would be positioned next to Inverness Leisure Centre, taking advantage of the staffing complement and infrastructure at Inverness Leisure, keeping revenue costs to a minimum and maximising on ‘cross selling’ tennis to existing customers.”
He said a four-court “framed fabric tennis hall” costing £1.5million would attract £1m from the fund, with extra funding, including a council contribution, being sought elsewhere for the remainder.
He added: “The next funding round is November 1 and, if agreed, an outline funding application would be submitted by the council.”
The new fund was announced last year when tennis in Scotland was riding high with Andy Murray, Jamie Murray, and Gordon Reid all achieving huge success.
Councillor Andrew Jarvie said: “It is something I feel somewhat tepid towards and it has really, to me anyway, come out of the blue.
“Of the total £1.5 million cost, only £875,000 of that is a grant with £125,000 effectively being a loan.
“I am concerned about the £500,000 that is expected from our capital budget as on the same paper and same agenda we will be looking at four library vehicles which need replaced which also comes to the cost of £500,000.
“Why are we looking at extending facilities when we can’t even look after the ones we have already got?
“It feels like another Inverness centric project. I don’t know how this benefits other parts of the Highlands.”