TOWNELEY Community Tennis Club has become the first ‘non city’ club in the country to become an official Tennis for Free site.

The club, which will be officially opened next month, recently met with officials from the national charity who this week confirmed their official status.

Club officials were visited by Paul Jepson from Tennis for Free and the LTA’s Paul Bennett “It’s great news,” said head coach Iain Taylor. “The feedback we had from the meeting was very positive and we are delightedthat we have been granted the prestigious status of an official site.

“The award means we have become the frist non-city site in the country.”

Towneley Community Tennis Club's volunteers, in partnership with Burnley Borough Councils Park Rangers, have been working on the courts at Towneley Park in order to refurbish it in preparation for the official club launch scheduled to be held on Saturday, April 5.

The Community group led by Taylor and Judith Denson have been actively fund raising and because of this the club are in a position to offer free membership to all ages and levels in the Burnley, Padiham and Pendle area.

The coaching programme has been up and running since December 2013 at Queens Park. But Taylor is looking forward to getting in to their new home.

“We have been delivering the programme in Queens Park but getting the courts done at Towneley will be the biggest achievement of all and it has been a truly well supported community project,” said Taylor who is the current Lancashire Development Coach of the Year.

“We have all worked extremely hard to get the courts up to scratch. They were a bit of an eye sore in the park and it has been a real race against time to get them ready ahead of our official club launch and for the new season.”

For Taylor, a former head coach at Burnley Tennis Club and Ribchester Tennis Club, it will be the chance to fulfil one of his lifetime ambitions.

“I have done a lot of coaching at other clubs but setting up my own and being able to provide free coaching is something I have always wanted to do. Now we have become an official Tennis for Free site it is just perfect.”

Membership is open to everyone from recreational players to the more serious competitive players as TCTC have entered teams in both the Aegon team tennis event and Slazenger East Lancashire Tennis League at various age groups. For more information on membership, volunteering or the coaching programme, please contact Iain on 07530126456.