Sustainability AELTC project key mantra



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Wimbledon AELTC will create public part Image: AELTC

The All England Lawn Tennis Club (AELTC) has confirmed proposals for the creation of London’s (UK) first new public park since the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park opened almost a decade ago.

The ‘Wimbledon AELTC’ stated that images of the plans for the 9.4-hectare (23-acre) park provide a first view of how the historic Capability Brown landscape is being sensitively redeveloped with sustainability high on mind and the community first concept.

The AELTC’s Wimbledon Park Project will see an extensive area of private land turned into a year-round public park, significantly increasing the verdant space available to the local communities.

The All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, also known as the All England Club, based at Church Road, Wimbledon, London, England (UK), is a private members’ club. It is best known as the venue for the Wimbledon Championships, the only Grand Slam tennis event still held on grass.

The 80,000-capacity Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park is a sporting complex and public park in Stratford, East London. It was purpose-built for the 2012 Summer Olympics and the Paralympics, situated adjacent to the Stratford City development.

The ‘Wimbledon AELTC’ further stated that plans for the park include the protection of veteran trees and planting of 1,500 British-grown new trees, the restoration of the Wimbledon Park Lake with a public boardwalk and safeguarding of facilities for sailing and angling, and the creation of dedicated and diverse natural habitats for a range of local and European protected species.

Sally Bolton, AELTC Chief Executive, commented, “This is a once in a lifetime opportunity not only to cement London’s position as a global leader in world class sporting venues, but also to create this extraordinary new public park for our local community, significantly increasing access to Green space for those living nearby and providing an important sanctuary for nature.”

Under the AELTC Wimbledon Park Project plan, the local area will also benefit from improved infrastructure and transport links, including upgrades to Church Road and improvements to the 493 bus route, Southfield, Wimbledon, and Wimbledon Park stations.

Local residents will also receive greater access to the tournament through the expansion of the existing community ticket scheme, and the intention to provide access to the facilities within the Parkland Show Court outside of The Championships fortnight for local community groups.

The AELTC also plans further growth of community initiatives such as the Wimbledon Junior Tennis Initiative (WJTI) and the AELTC Community Tennis Centre at Raynes Park, and the work of the Wimbledon Foundation in Merton and Wandsworth, which has provided £4.49 million of funding to over 200 organizations in the two boroughs since its inception in 2013.

Added Bolton, “Throughout this development, we are committed to being a good neighbor, engaging with our community at every stage and seeking to bring the maximum benefit to the local area. With that in mind, we are particularly excited about the opportunity to give back through the public park, potential access to the facilities in the parkland show court itself, and continued expansion of the work of the Wimbledon Foundation and the Wimbledon Junior Tennis initiative.”

Local residents will also receive greater access to the tournament through the expansion of the existing community ticket scheme, and the intention to provide access to the facilities within the Parkland Show Court outside of The Championships fortnight for local community groups.
 

Objective

The AELTC has been guided in the development of these proposals by two fundamental and integrated objectives: To maintain The Championships at the pinnacle of the sport (with the associated substantial social and economic benefits locally and nationally) and with equal excitement and determination to provide year-round significant public benefit to the local community.

The AELTC seeks continually to ensure that The Championships, proudly a local and national asset, remains a world leading sporting event. Bringing the qualifying event on-site in order to improve it to be worthy of its world class player field, enhancing practice and junior event facilities and providing a third ‘show court’ (with approximately half the capacity of Centre Court) are all measures aimed at ensuring Wimbledon remains the world’s premier tennis tournament, with all the associated substantial social and economic benefits that the event brings, locally and nationally.

The exciting opportunity is that these developments can and will be undertaken within a beautiful landscape providing year-round community benefit. These public benefits are an integral part of AELTC’s strategy for the Wimbledon Park Project. This will be one of the largest areas of private land to be opened up for public access and a unique opportunity to recapture some of Capability Brown’s design and vision. The AELTC will work with the local authorities and contribute substantially to desilting the lake in order to secure the long-term future of this valuable and vital community asset. The project also provides opportunity for significant enhancement of biodiversity, wildlife and other sustainability measures within the parkland.

Ian Hewitt, AELTC Chairman, commented, “We respect heritage. We embrace our responsibility to society. This is a unique and exciting opportunity to enhance Wimbledon’s position as the world’s premier tennis tournament, to maintain the beneficial social and economic impact for Merton, Wandsworth, London and indeed the UK generally, and to provide significant year-round local community benefit, all within a beautiful and historic landscape.”

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