Roundwood Tennis Club in Ipswich wins £12,000 in funding to help save the environment
PUBLISHED: 08:00 15 November 2017 | UPDATED: 13:45 15 November 2017
Members of an Ipswich tennis club are celebrating today after scooping £12,000 in funding from a community cash grant.
Roundwood Tennis Club beat four projects from across the region to win the top prize from the Marks & Spencer (M&S) Energy Community Energy Fund.
More than 2,500 people voted for Roundwood to win the competition following a six-week campaign by the club which called on people in the community to support them.
Roundwood is the first tennis club in the world to use recycled waste plastic on their courts, to prevent such material ending up in landfill.
Secretary Martyn Ward said: “It is fantastic news for Roundwood Tennis Club to be awarded a grant from the M&S Energy Community Energy Fund.
“We will be able to have our courts resurfaced in 2018 meaning that we can offer tennis facilities to the local community for many years in the future.
“It is really exciting to be the first tennis club in the world to use waste plastic in our courts.
He added: “The problems with waste plastic in landfill and polluting our oceans is a massive environmental problem.
“Hopefully the recycling of waste plastic for this purpose will be used by other tennis clubs in the future.”
Roundwood is a small community club in Ipswich with a growing junior membership – bosses say there is an urgent need to resurface their three asphalt courts.
The funding will allow them to roll out a pilot scheme using new technology developed by business start-up MacRebur.
Their system replaces the bitumen content of asphalt, using plastic waste instead.
Replacing the courts with this new material will help Roundwood to save 30 tonnes of carbon emissions – and prevent around 300,000 plastic bottles from going to landfill.
Tennis star Andy Murray is a shareholder in MacRebur – and Mr Ward said it is the club’s dream to have him come to Ipswich and unveil the scheme.
Head of M&S Energy, Jonathan Hazeldine, said: “We were bowled over by the innovation and creativity displayed by this year’s community projects.
“The fund is a great way for us to connect with some brilliantly innovative energy projects and reach our commitment to help at least 200 communities to reduce their carbon footprint.”
M&S Energy awards a maximum of £12,000 in funding for regional renewable energy projects across the UK, determined by the public vote.