A PRESTIGIOUS sport governing body could be set to sign a deal with Newport council to encourage more people to take up tennis.

The Lawn Tennis Association and the Tennis Foundation is planning to invest £120,000 over three years into Newport Indoor Tennis Centre.

The authority is looking at whether to renew its partnership with the LTA for the council to run the centre as a community facility for the next 10 years.

According to a council report the funding will allow for the employment of a tennis development officer to lead a programme of coaching for young people and adults.

It’s hoped that a new tennis development programme will be in place by the end of April this year.

Newport Indoor Tennis Centre opened in 1995 on the back of a £1 million investment from the then borough council, and £200,000 from the LTA.

For the first five years of the centre’s existence the LTA funded a tennis development officer, who was then funded by the council until 2011 when the role was deleted.

Tennis participation at the tennis centre fell between 2008 and 2012, the council report said, partly because of the removal of the professional sporting team.

The LTA is now trying to re-establish indoor tennis centres – and under the plan the LTA will also provide senior officer time, access to marketing resources and coach education.

A condition of the agreement is that Newport council commits to operating the tennis centre as a community facility until 2025.

Labour councillor Debbie Wilcox, cabinet member for leisure and culture, is to make a final decision on the proposed partnership after consultation with all city councillors.