THE TENNIS courts at Stratford Park are 'in a better shape than ever' following their recent revamp. 

Stroud MP Siobhan Baillie tried her hand at tennis at Stratford Park where government and Lawn Tennis Association money has transformed the courts.

The investment has seen six courts refurbished and membership prices set at a low level. 

The government has put in £22 million nationally and the LTA £8 million and this has led to improvements at 150 courts in the south west

The courts at Stratford Park in Stratford Road was the first to receive the money and make the changes. 

The MP met with James Deem from the LTA to talk about the investment and how it wants to raise awareness the courts are there.

He then gave Siobhan her first ever tennis lesson.

Ms Baillie said: “James was very impressed with this government’s commitment in the sport and impressed by the district council’s desire to get on with using the national investment.

“I certainly want to give credit to Hannah Drew from the council as James said her determination has made things happen at Stratford Park much quicker than in other areas.  

“Now we have these facilities, the LTA wants to encourage more people to start playing tennis there. 

“The main ask it has is that I raise awareness of the facilities and most importantly that they are for all ages and abilities. 

"There are also rackets and balls available if people do not have their own.”

The MP said she enjoyed the first time getting a bit of a lesson with a professional.

“I have never played tennis before but my husband does and loves it. 

"He was mortified that I was on the court in boots but was glad I gave it a go. 

"I hope my kids learn to play.”

Chief Operating Officer at the LTA Julie Porter said: “After months of hard work, we’re delighted to see park tennis courts in Stroud back open to the public, and in better shape than ever.  

“Public tennis courts are such vital facilities for getting active and we want as many people as possible, of all ages and abilities, to pick up a racket and enjoy playing tennis. 

“Thanks to this UK Government and LTA Tennis Foundation investment the sport will be opened up to more players, for years to come.”