02:08PM, Monday 13 September 2021
Peter Prior and Richard Mole
New tennis facilities are being built on the site of the former North Maidenhead Cricket Club ground, with Summerleaze Ltd sponsoring the development.
Three grass courts are being built initially, with the facilities set to open from May 2022, while there are plans to add a further three hard courts later in the year.
On the decision to sponsor the development of the new tennis facilities, Peter Prior, the chairman of Summerleaze Ltd, said: “The cold spring held back the establishment of the grass, so we have been eagerly awaiting our first trial of the courts
“They proved to provide excellent and consistent bounce and are even better than we expected.
“We are awaiting the installation of the nets, after which some informal tennis will be able to be played this autumn, subject to the weather.
“We are in discussion with the RBWM on further improvements to Summerleaze Park to provide both formal and informal recreation for local people.
“The new tennis facility will be a welcome addition to the sports groups already in the town and we hope that it will attract people not only looking to try their hand at tennis, but those looking to make use of the clubhouse which is available to the local community for events such as weddings, divorce celebrations, parties and fundraisers.”
The site has been subject to some dispute in recent months with the owner of the land, Mr Prior, preventing North Maidenhead from playing at the ground, a move which effectively enforced their withdrawal from the Thames Valley Cricket League.
The reasons for the dispute over the club’s tenure of the ground are complex, but the upshot is that North Maidenhead were forced out of their home ground of many years and the players had to look for other clubs to play cricket this summer.
They had hoped to resolve the situation with Mr Prior, but it now seems that if the club is to rejoin the league next summer, they’ll have to do so at a new ground, or having found a ground sharing option with another club. When asked by the Advertiser for his reasons for preventing North Maids from playing at Summerleaze Mr Prior refused to comment.
Richard Mole, who played county tennis for Bucks, is set to be the director of the tennis club and is looking forward to making it as accessible as possible to local players.
“We are delighted to be opening the Summerleaze Park Lawn Tennis Courts in Maidenhead,” he said.
“We hope that the new facility will encourage people to come and take part, whatever their ability. Our aim is to provide an inclusive facility where people feel able to come along and practice their tennis skills, take up a new sport or just come and have a knockabout with friends.”
Anyone interested in finding out more should email Richard Mole on firstname.lastname@example.org.