• Denby Dale Tennis Club: Redevelopment 2012 -2013

    For a number of years Denby Dale Tennis Club had been looking at ways to improve the courts but a lack of finance and difficulty of access (via a narrow pedestrian bridge) had rendered any redevelopment impossible.

    However, with the Olympic Games coming to London in 2012, funding by the Sports Council though their Olympic Legacy Fund, allowed small sports clubs to apply for financial help. This enabled the Club to explore ways of renewing their shale courts and the contract was awarded to Thorntons Contracts in mid 2012.

    The redevelopment project was not straightforward: there was no vehicular access to the site and all materials and machinery had to be lifted over the river. The Environment Agency would not allow the court surface to be raised more than a few centimetres because the courts acted as an overflow area for floodwater. Tarmac or concrete courts were out of the question because of the amount of excavation required to maintain the height of the court surface and because of the lack of vehicular access.

    The solution to the problems came with the use of the ‘SudSports system’ provided by Permavoid Limited. This system comprised a lightweight plastic sub-base replacement layer which rested on top of the accurately levelled sub surface of porous limestone laid above the original shale court surface. The plastic sections were easily taken over the footbridge.

    The sections allowed high infiltration and drainage so that should flooding occur, water would flow though the sections and not over the surface. Further, the sections allowed heavy rain to infiltrate rapidly resulting in little disruption to play.

    The sections were covered with Thornton’s ‘Classic Match’ artificial clay surface, providing the Club with a high performance, cost-effective and low maintenance alternative to shale.

    The courts have been in use since spring 2013 and the Club is delighted with the new courts. Members and visiting teams have been impressed with the surface and the tennis season has now been extended to allow play all year round. Without the ‘SudSports system’ it would have been very difficult, if not impossible, to have redeveloped the courts: an ideal solution.

    Helen Sansom
    Publicity Officer
    Denby Dale Tennis Club – February 2014