DELAY: As soon as a new surface has been laid at Barnard Castle Tennis Club, players will take to the courts
DELAY: As soon as a new surface has been laid at Barnard Castle Tennis Club, players will take to the courts

THE easing of coronavirus lockdown restrictions on some sporting activities means keen tennis players will be able to get back to the courts, however, for members of Barnard Castle Tennis Club there will be a delay.
Planned £35,000 resurfacing work to the courts, sited in the grounds of The Bowes Museum, was given the go ahead in February and a re-launch was planned for April.
Although work that was expected to take nine weeks to complete, had begun, the coronavirus lockdown and subsequent locking of all the museum grounds gates meant work ground to a halt.
Pauline Connelly, club treasurer, said: “Lillico wanted to come back to do the preparation work, but we couldn’t let them in to do that because of the gates being locked. We’ve been at a complete standstill with work on the courts which is a shame as we’ve had some excellent weather for it and it could have all been completed by now. We don't know how long it’s going to take to get the work done.”
However the club says they will reopen once the new surface has been laid and members will benefit from half fees for the year.
Ms Connelly added: "We have full Covid-19 guidance from the Lawn Tennis Association and we’ve already emailed this to members. But we won’t be back playing until July.”
Members of the club have already been sent guidance on restricted play which will see only singles games permitted with courts pre-booked in hour sessions and there will be no access to the clubhouse.
She said: “We’re asking people to use their own balls. But if they do play with other people’s ball then they can’t serve.
“But at the moment it’s all a dream world until we can get the resurfacing work complete and although we’ve got all the guidance from the LTA things may have changed by the time we are able to open.
“When the Tarmac is laid and dry we will have the courts open all year. It’ll be a great time for people to sign up and have a go at tennis what with the half fees and I think there will be an appetite for people wanting to try out a new sport.”