Community support

Funding level: £10,001 to £25,000

Description

A little bit of history.....

Beechcroft was originally known as Hall Green Church Tennis Club and was founded in 1938 when local resident Miss Lane donated the land which club the club stands on to the Church Of The Ascension in Hall Green. It was gifted on the provision that tennis was always to be played there to promote health and sport in the community.

In 1939 the first tennis courts were laid and later the same year the wooden pavilion style club house was built. The club still retains its original (and dated) club house, which was used by the home guard & the billeting of anti aircraft and searchlight platoons during World War Two.
In 1957 the club went through a difficult time, mainly because the members couldn’t play tennis on Sundays, so they formed an independent club which they called Beechcroft Tennis Club which would allow Sunday play. Men’s and ladies days became popular, with tournaments lasting all day. During the men’s tournaments the ladies would make the men’s lunches and the men would return the favour on ladies day.

Unfortunately after 75 years of history ‘Beechcroft Tennis Club’ went into decline. Dwindling membership, dilapidated facilities and tennis losing its popularity, almost brought the club to near closure. Not wanting to see this happen we have worked tirelessly to look for funding grants to help secure its future. In February 2014 we were successful in our application for a Sport England Olympic Legacy Inspire Facilities grant of £50K to improve the tennis courts. The club now boasts the best multi sports surface in Birmingham. After further capital from local investors we have been able to restore the once tired clubhouse to its former charming glory, enabling it to operate.

In 2015 the re-named Beechcroft Tennis & Multi Sports Community Club offers a base for not only tennis but touchtennis, football, hockey, netball, walking football and table tennis. From mini tennis for under 6 year olds to walking football for the over 50s, the club really has become a multi generational sports and social venue with a bright future.

However, Beechcroft’s continuing re-birth is hampered by the lack of floodlighting on the courts. The club is unable to operate at full capacity through darker months of the year, as the facilities have to close at 3pm due to the failing light. The next step in the regeneration of Beechcroft is to install the much needed floodlighting

Beechcroft offers sports facilities to a wide range of community groups including local schools, disability groups, sports teams, scout groups and youth clubs who would benefit from year round access to the club. With the addition of the floodlights all our users would have access to the facility every evening through the winter months. Currentley as we are not able to offer this service many of our users have to look for other more expensive private facilities in the evenings/ after school, or stop playing all together through the winter. Hall Green has a population of 28 thousand people and Beechcroft is the only community sports venue in the area.

It is our aim, with the help of the Aviva Community Fund to be able to offer a facility everyone in Hall Green will be proud of, and in doing so, create a long lasting legacy, just how Miss Lane would have wanted it.

Beechcroft Tennis and Multi Sport Community Club

I grew up in Birmingham and remember playing tennis as a youngster at Beechcorft. I have now been chairman and part of this on-going regeneration for 5 years. I know how much hapinesss this club already brings to the community and with addition of funding the impact on the community will be huge.

Location: Birmingham