QPTC want to keep you, the members, up to date with plans for the clubhouse, specifically our future rental agreements.
In accordance with the proposal we made to the council in summer 2017, which was accepted by the council’s ETS committee in November last year, Queens Park Tennis Club is actively preparing to make the pavilion available for hire to individuals and organisations.
While venue hire has gone on informally for many years – Friends of Queens Park, Brighton & Hove Parks League, local councillors etc – QPTC is now aiming to do this on a commercial basis, on a larger scale, to raise much needed revenue for the club.
To this end, we have gone to great lengths to refurbish and upgrade the clubhouse, including CCTV, new furniture, wifi and, most recently, central heating. Thanks to Mel for his huge efforts in this area, and to the additional help from the directors and members over numerous volunteer events. Thank you all, particularly Eddie Crowther, who supplied and installed quality wood panelling for the radiators, among many other invaluable tasks.
This has helped us to managed the process at a reasonable cost. We got a great deal on the installation of the central heating – vital for allowing the pavilion to operate as a year round venue – but it’s still a significant cost that we need to recover.
What has this got to do with tennis? Everything. We are planning for this year and for the next 25 years, to equip QPTC for the long term. Since we are now obliged to preserve and maintain our own tennis courts, we need to secure all possible revenue streams to fund that key aim.
QPTC directors are actively applying for various public grants to help us maintain the clubhouse and meet our financial obligations. The goal, as ever, is affordable tennis for as many people as possible. This does, however, require regular income beyond court fees and membership.
It’s not just about the money. Keeping the clubhouse as an active space is better for the club and the surrounding area. We want to avoid a situation where the building is largely neglected over the winter months. As Rob Walker from the council points out, “more legitimate activity leads to less illegitimate activity.” Allowing the clubhouse to be a social hub, for club members and others in the community, helps everyone.
You should be aware that when the clubhouse is being used for private bookings, members can continue to use the tennis courts as normal but will not be able to use the facilities inside. We are taking bookings only at times that do not significantly clash with our tennis activities, so we are aiming for designated mornings and evenings over the winter months when we know from experience there is little or no tennis being played. So no clashes with club sessions, parks league, juniors coaching etc. To repeat, clubhouse bookings will not affect use of the tennis courts, which members can continue to use as normal.
So far we have two long term bookings for a health/weightloss group and an after school club. We will clearly publish booking information in advance for the benefit of members. You may even wish to make a booking yourself for your private or professional event, with 10 per cent off for full adult QPTC members.