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Wimbledon expansion plans face key hurdle

Wimbledon’s bold expansion plans will be considered by Merton Council at a committee meeting on Thursday.

The All England Club’s grounds will almost triple in size if the ambitious scheme is given the green light.

Wimbledon bought the lease of the neighbouring Wimbledon Park Golf Club for a reported £65million in 2018.

It plans to use the land to build 38 new courts, including a third show court with a capacity of 8,000 seats.

Wimbledon will then be able to hold the qualifying tournaments at the grounds, rather than their current home a couple of miles away in Roehampton.

In outlining its plans, the All England Club said: “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 our world-class player field, enhancing practice and junior event facilities and providing a third ‘show 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 plans were originally submitted in 2021 and Wimbledon chiefs anticipate that the new courts, if they get the go-ahead, will be ready for use in 2030.

However, the scheme has not gone down well with some local residents, and a petition to ‘Save Wimbledon Park’ currently has more than 13,000 signatures.


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