Overtoun Covered Courts
We passionately believe that tennis should be accessible to everyone. We also recognise, through bitter experience, that the Scottish climate inhibits the growth and development of our sport. We lose around 4-5 weeks every year due to rain, frost and snow. Whilst the majority of our members are a hardy bunch who’ll play whenever the courts are playable, it’s impossible to quantify how many hours of play are missed through people being put-off by inclement weather. We therefore strongly believe that quality, affordable indoor facilities are essential if we want to establish tennis as a mass participation sport and help grow tomorrow’s champions.
We want to meet these challenges head-on by building 4 covered tennis courts in Rutherglen. Built by tennis players for tennis players, they will meet the needs of all; young and old, novice to elite, getting more people playing tennis more often – rain, hail or shine! Or, as we like to say reign, hale and shine!
We’re deliberately using the word “covered” rather than “indoor” as the courts may not be completely enclosed to keep costs down. Cost is going to be fundamental to the success of this project. If it’s not affordable then we won’t build it. Also, the lower cost we can achieve, the more affordable and accessible it will be to the community. This will be a no-frills facility. We just want to keep the wind and rain off players and keep the courts free of snow and frost allowing us to play in all-weather.We're following the route-map above to progress this project and have just advanced to Stage 2 following the decision by South Lanarkshire Council (SLC) to agree "Heads of Terms" for the lease of the plot of land in Overtoun Park between the BMX track and Overtoun Bowling Club, where 8 blaes courts once thrived up to the late 1980s. This gives us a window of opportunity and confidence to develop the detailed plans and secure planning permission and funding for the new facility. The lease would only go live once we start invasive work meaning that we had achieved this position and were starting to build the new facility.
The new facility will comprise 4 courts, taking our total number of courts to 11, 2 Padel-Tennis courts (the first in Glasgow), gym area, changing and showering facilities, a social space, café area and spectator terrace, all under one big roof. In addition to enabling truly all-weather play, it will give us the extra space we need to continue to grow and expand. Whilst we thought that our expansion into our new Burnside facility would give us all the space we would ever need, our membership and broad community use continues to grow at pace and we are now heading towards the recommended capacity for our seven outdoor courts.
Rutherglen Lawn Tennis Club would build, own, operate and manage this new facility as a second annex to our main Viewpark facility, our home since 1922. This project will be very similar in nature to our Burnside courts which we saved in 2017 through our #ReturnToSplendour Project creating our first annexed site.
These three facilities would combine to establish a vibrant hub for tennis in Rutherglen allowing truly all-weather play. Whilst tennis is the driving force behind our proposal, we see it as much more than this. The size of the overall building is dictated by the size of the tennis courts and headroom required, so there is ample space to accommodate a wide range of other facilities and opportunities for the whole community to enjoy as illustrated below.
It will provide a framework for an expansive and inclusive community hub to grow and thrive.
The busier it is, the better it is for our club. The healthier our club, the more we can do for the local community. We see this as very much a symbiotic relationship where a not-for-profit tennis club managed exclusively by unpaid volunteers can help the community and vice versa.
By carefully blending commercial enterprise (e.g. tennis shop, physio etc. - all accessible to the general public as an open, community facility) with our voluntary ethos, we believe we can provide an exceptional quality facility within a friendly, welcoming and supportive environment which the whole community can enjoy on a highly affordable basis.
But this is no pipe dream, we have identified organisations who share our ethos and vision and want to work with us to achieve this goal. Clearly not all of these relationships will come to fruition but we believe there is enough interest here to show that this dream is achievable and this ground-work will provide a solid foundation to build this diverse, thriving community hub as part of Stage 2. We also recognise that as we continue to develop our plans and word spreads, more interested parties will come forward delivering even more potential benefits to the community.
Many experts are forecasting that in a post coronavirus society more people will work from home and will be looking to use local amenities and facilities. This will change communities and neighbourhoods. We see our plans as being very much complementary to this “new normal” – a place to work, meet, eat, exercise and socialise right in the heart of our local community.
Details, plans & latest news...
Sharing our ideas and plans in the public domain is hugely important to us. This will be a community facility and it will only be a sucesss if it is enjoyed by the local comunity. It would therefore be completely wreckless for us to pursue these plans if they don't have broad community support.
To ensure we keep everone up-to-date with our plans and progress and encorage feedback from all interested parties, we'll provide links to all the latest information and updates below (in chronological order):
This document represents the culmination of Stage 1 of the route-map illustrated above. It was submitted to South Lanarkshire Council (SLC) in November 2020 as our formal application for a "Heads Of Terms" (HOT) agreement for the lease of the plot of land for 25-years on a peppercorn rent basis.
Proposal Document - Executive Summary
We've extracted the Exective Summary from the Detailed Propsoal Document to provide a high-level overveirew of our propsoal without the need to download the full document.
This document presents the detailed findings of the independent Community Survey we commissed in support of our proposal above. Whilst the approach, methodology and findings of this survey are summarised within our detailed Proposal Document, this document is posted here to provide access to a detailed description of how the survey was conducted, all the raw information and data gathered and how it has been collated to form the conclusions used within the overarching proposal.
Comparison between FOP and RLTC Community Surveys
To ensure we fully tested public opinion on our proposals, we made a number of requests for Friends of Overtoun Park (FOP) to share our online survey with all their members and supporters. We were very conscious that through all their good work and endeavours in an around the park over many years, they had become a respected organisation with a strong following. We therefore felt it was hugely important to gather their thoughts and views on our plans. However, these requests were ignored and they chose to launch their own on-line survey. To ensure we fully listened to the views and opinions expressed through this survey, the independent company appointed to complete our survey reviewed the findings of the FOP survey alongside their work to identify any new learnings, views, issues etc. and formed two main conclusions. Whilst the FOP survey is framed in somewhat of a leading, negative manner, the overall conclusions are similar to our survey in that it shows there is majority support for our plans. The FOP survey has not identified any significant additional issues beyond those raised in our own survey and which are addressed in detail in our Proposal Document above.
From SLC's initial consideration of our proposal, a number of representations were made, including from local residents, which raised questions and expressed some concerns about our plans. We were very keen to address these representations directly. This report serves this purpose and should therefore be read in conjunction with the above main document. Whilst our detailed proposal directly addresses all of the concerns raised and there are no new issues identified, this Annex amplifies our response to these representations, including a detailed car parking study requested by SLC. This report was submiited to SLC in August 2021.
Project Update - 22nd September 2021
This update was issued to advise of SLC's decision to place our proposal on the agneda of their Housing and Technical Resources Committee meeting on Wednesday 29th September 2021 with the recommendation that HOT are agreed.
SLC Housing & Technical Resources Committee Meeting - Recording - 29th September 2021
This is a recording of the SLC Housing and Technical Resources meeting held virtually on Wednesday 29th September 2021 where SLC's recommendation to enter into HOTs with us for the long term lease of the land was agreed by the committee. Note, the discussion and debate around our proposal starts at 49:40 minutes into the recording.
Project Update - 30th September 2021
This update was issued to advise of SLC's decision at their Housing and Technical Resources meeting on Wednesday 29th September 2021 to approve our application for a HOT agreement for the long-term lease of the land. This now allows us to progress onto Stage 2 of the project as illustrated in the route-map above.
If you have any questions, feedback, ideas or suggestions on any aspect of our plans for Overtoun Park, we'd love to hear from you. We want this to be a wonderful community hub that everyone can enjoy. Please don't hesitate to contact Club President Gareth Ellor on 07368 971263 or President@RutherglenLTC.com.