At a meeting in November 2006 attended by representatives of the Northern Bowling Club, the schoolchild football users of Warriston Playing Field, relevant councillors, residents’ associations and the Inverleith Society the future of the Bowling Club and the uses of the playing field were discussed.
Richard and Anna Sweet
(reprinted from The Inverleith News, Spring 2007)
The derelict tennis courts on Warriston Recreation Ground are owned by the City of Edinburgh Council’s Children and Families Department. Over the years various people have asked for the courts to be restored, but the Council have been unable to do so because of competing demands on the schools budget. After initial meetings with the Council, Tennis Scotland and various other people, Warriston Community Tennis Club (WCTC) was established in 2005 to raise funds to restore the courts.
The current aim is to build 3 new courts on the site of the existing 8 derelict courts, and to restore the remaining area to grass. The courts will be managed by WCTC, which will be community and family oriented, seeking to provide facilities at low cost for local residents, and to encourage beginners and those of moderate ability of all ages. The courts will also be made available free of charge to local schools at agreed time slots. The Northern Bowling Club on Warriston Crescent is willing to enter discussions about making their toilet and other facilities available. As the club is aimed at the local community, and schools can use the existing Council parking at the end of the playing fields, there are no plans for additional parking. The capital cost is approximately £115,000, and there will be ongoing maintenance costs.
WCTC has liaised closely with Tennis Scotland, who paid for a feasibility study, and have confirmed their full support. The Council has also pledged its support, allocating £30,000 towards the project in their 2007-08 capital budget. The Council will benefit from the project through access to the courts for local schools.
We are very encouraged by the enthusiasm and support shown by the community. Over the last 6 months we have distributed flyers to local homes, put petitions in local businesses, and organised a community meeting to discuss the project. We have received expressions of support from more than 120 households, indicating that 191 adults and 125 children would use the courts. We are most grateful to the Northern Bowling Club, which has provided a venue for meetings and fundraising events free of charge.
A fundraising committee is working on raising the bulk of the funds required for the project, with applications submitted or pending to SportScotland, the Big Lottery Fund, Foundation for Sport and Arts, and the Landfill Tax Credit Scheme. We hope to find a major sponsor but if we are unsuccessful, we will look at other options, perhaps involving a smaller number of courts and the majority of funding coming from the local community in return for more exclusive access.
If you would like to support the project, either by pledges of donations or help in kind, then either visit the tennis section of the website www.warriston.org, or email firstname.lastname@example.org. If you provide your email address we can keep you updated.
Richard and Anna Sweet