After nearly 100 years in Brightwell Gardens, Brightwell Tennis Club moved to a brand new facility on the nearby Riverside site. The official opening was on Saturday 13th June 2015.
The Brightwell Gardens site, between Sainsburys on South Street and the building that used to house the Redgrave Theatre, was land given to the people of Farnham by Mr Brightwell for the use of leisure and recreation.
In the late 1990s it first became clear that a regeneration of the East Street area was going to be undertaken. At that stage the size and scale of this was unclear. It was possible the club may stay on its existing site and be part of the changes or be moved to a new location. The club formed a sub-committee who, over the years, have held many meetings with different portfolio holders, council officers, Crest Nicholson and LTA representatives.
The club is extremely grateful for the great new facility where it now resides. It can offer good value and a quality club for the people of Farnham.
The club has always maintained a neutral position on the East Street development. Individual members hold very different opinions on the project, but the sub-committee has endeavoured to make sure that we retain a thriving tennis club with good facilities within Farnham.
In 2008 the plans were approved for the new clubhouse and courts on the Riverside site which can be reached via Mike Hawthorne Drive (by the Sports Centre) or along the riverside path. There were initial concerns about the possibility of flooding, but we have been reassured that everything possible has been done to prevent this.
At the beginning of 2013 we were told that action was now being taken to start our move and hopefully complete it within a year. We are very pleased that the Project Manager is Sean Goodall, from MEA Consult, a keen tennis player and that the LTA have been consulted and will be invited to view the work as it is undertaken.
Although we are sorry to be leaving our town centre site that has been our home for the best part of a century we are very grateful to Waverley Borough Council for providing us with a site nearby, five floodlit courts, an excellent modern clubhouse and for consulting us fully during the design and building process.
We will be able to continue, and build on, our coaching programme which provides tennis for many different Farnham children, increase our membership which currently includes those from 5-80 years old and improve the social dimension in our new facilities and surroundings.
These pictures were taken as work started on the site at the beginning of October 2013.