GAVIN NEWLANDS MP CALLS FOR FAIR FUNDING FOR SCOTTISH TENNIS
An SNP MP has called on the UK government to back calls for Tennis Scotland to receive fair funding from the Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) which would help support Tennis Scotland and Judy Murray in their work to improve access to tennis in Scotland.
Gavin Newlands MP, Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Scottish Sport, confirmed the party’s support for a ‘Murray legacy’ to increase participation in Scottish tennis with better facilities and an increased workforce, calling the continued lack of funding from the LTA a “scandalous missed opportunity”.
Writing in The Times newspaper today, the MP urged the LTA to properly fund Scottish tennis to assist the next generation of Scottish tennis players, many of whom have been inspired by the Murray brothers.
Currently, Tennis Scotland receives only 1% of the LTA’s revenue funding annually - worth just £700k from a £70 million budget. A fair population-based share would amount to £6million per year in revenue funding.
The SNP MP also called for greater recognition of the Murray’s contributions to British tennis following the LTA’s failure to mention the Murrays in their 36-page mission statement.
Commenting, Gavin Newlands MP said:
“Given the reluctance of the LTA to do so thus far, it is crucial that the UK Government ensure that the LTA provide fair revenue funding to all nations and regions of the UK.
“As the Chair of the APPG on Scottish Sport, I have been calling for Tennis Scotland to receive its fair share of funding since 2017 – the crucial first step in ensuring we establish a Murray Legacy.
“Over the last decade, Scotland has been one of the world’s leading tennis nations and the LTA must recognise this.
“The continued lack of funding for Tennis Scotland during the decade of the Murray’s success is, quite frankly, a scandalous missed opportunity.
“I was delighted to see Andy return to the tennis court this week, albeit tentatively, and time will tell if he can return to the courts competitively, but given this doubt, it is vital that we invest to develop players that may one day match, or perhaps surpass, Andy Murray. To do this, the LTA must provide adequate funding to Scotland.”