A $16million refurbishment of the Royal Kings Park Tennis Club has been given the green light by Environment Minister Judy Edwards.
Dr Edwards has signed off on negotiations for the redevelopment that will include upgrading the courts and the long-term maintenance of the heritage-listed assets of the site.
The project would be funded by Next Generation Clubs Australia that would manage the facility under a 25-year sub-lease arrangement.
The tennis club would remain as the head lessee under the Botanic Gardens and Parks Authority, reflecting the club’s 106-year association with the site.
“The tennis club has been facing rising operating costs and a lack of capital to adequately maintain valuable heritage assets for more than 10 years,” Dr Edwards said.
“The club negotiated an agreement with Next Generation to replace the Eastman building with a new facility on that site which will include a gym, hydrotherapy pools and associated health and club facilities, and the refurbishment and maintenance of the existing degraded heritage assets (McGibbon Stand and Members Stand and Pavilion) to a standard approved by the Heritage Council.
“The Authority’s Board of Management undertook extensive public consultation during 2004 and received more than 300 separate submissions on the issue.
“A wide range of groups and individuals made submissions. The vast majority - 90 per cent - supported the proposal, seven per cent were against it, while three per cent were neutral.
“The overwhelming support for the proposal reflected the understanding that the development and restoration of the club’s heritage buildings is long overdue.”
Royal Kings Park Tennis Club President Bob Stevenson said that he was delighted with the decision, given so many members had worked hard over a considerable period of time on developing and refining this proposal into a form that was acceptable to all stakeholders.
"The club is certainly one of the icons of our sport in Western Australia and this decision means the preservation of more than 100 years of great tennis heritage into the future,” Mr Stevenson said.
“There was no doubt that the club faced closing the doors at the end of 2003. I know that I speak on behalf of the overwhelming majority of our members in expressing our gratitude to the Government, the Board and Executive of the BGPA, Next Generation Clubs of Australia and to the public of WA for the support they have given us in getting this refurbishment over the line.”
Mr Stevenson said there was a strong, positive response during the public consultation period last year and that helped direct the care and thinking that had gone into the design of the new facility.
“The new clubhouse will stand on the same place as the old one and has been crafted with sensitivity to blend with the heritage-listed McGibbon Stand and the Members Stand,” he said.
“Now these magnificent surroundings will be able to be enjoyed by more Western Australians for a long time to come yet."
Minister's office: 9220 5050