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Scots tennis aims to capture 'Murray effect' with £15m boost

An agreement between the LTA and sportscotland seeks to double the number of covered courts.

Tennis in Scotland will receive an extra £15m in funding after an agreement between the Lawn Tennis Association and sportscotland.

The partnership aims to double the number of covered tennis courts in the country from 112 to 225 over the next five to ten years.

According to LTA chief Michael Downey, the move aims to capitalise on the "Andy and Jamie Murray effect", which has seen increased interest in the sport.

Andy Murray became the world number one in 2016 for the first time, as well as winning Wimbledon and Olympic Gold.

His brother Jamie took both the Australian and US Open titles in doubles this year and ended the year in the world's top-ranked partnership.

https://stv.tv/sport/tennis/1372761-andy-murray-s-achievements-in-tennis-are-ridiculous-says-brother/ | default

"2016 has been an historic year for British Tennis with success across the board", said Mr Downey.

"Therefore the time is right to seize the moment and capitalise on the Andy and Jamie Murray effect.

"We must create a lasting legacy with a purpose built plan for Scotland.

"Importantly, this unprecedented investment will make tennis more accessible in the years to come, bringing certainty of play to a climate that sees on average 200 days rain a year and in a country that is under-resourced versus the rest of Britain and other European nations when it comes to the number of covered tennis courts per capita."

The LTA will provide £7.5m, while the rest will come from sportscotland's National Lottery investment stream.

As well as the success of the two Murray brothers, Scottish tennis has a third world champion in Gordon Reid, who took the Wimbledon and US Open wheelchair titles.

https://stv.tv/news/features/1375048-how-gordon-reid-rose-to-world-number-one-in-wheelchair-tennis/ | default

Mel Young, Chairman of sportscotland said: "It is tremendous that in Gordon, Andy, and Jamie we have three Scottish world number ones, and it is the ideal moment to capitalise on the sport's popularity by helping to achieve further growth in this country.

"The strategic partnership between sportscotland, the LTA, and Tennis Scotland, coupled with this significant investment in indoor courts, will deliver substantial benefits for tennis in Scotland."

Scottish Government sports minister Aileen Campbell said: "We want to see more people playing tennis and having access to top quality facilities to get fit, try something new, and have fun.

"This money is all about making sure the right facilities are there to help people get more active, as well as helping to create the tennis stars of the future."

The full application plan for community led bids will be established by April in 2017.

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