Advantage D&C - Clubs

Advantage Durham & Cleveland is an initiative sponsored by Durham & Cleveland LTA to provide financial support and share advice and best practice to LTA-registered Clubs and venues across the County. Our mission is to grow tennis across Durham & Cleveland by making it relevant, accessible, welcoming and enjoyable. Our objective is to increase the participation of adults and children at all levels of tennis and this can only be achieved by working in partnership with all our venues.

We have many successful and growing Clubs in the County, supported by hard-working and dedicated volunteers with a passion for our sport. Advantage Durham & Cleveland will help Clubs and volunteers by making it possible to share the vast amount of experience and knowledge that has been built up over many years. Every Club will, at some time, have had problems to deal with – maintenance issues, membership decline, court renewal, Clubhouse repair, etc – and will have found solutions to the problem. Sometimes those solutions will have been very successful, other times perhaps not – but always lessons are learned.

Advantage Durham & Cleveland will provide a forum for Club volunteers to share their experience and knowledge, and also seek advice from others who have faced similar problems. The Durham and Cleveland Clubs Forum is a private group exclusively for Club officers and volunteers to sign into, where advice, ideas, recommendations etc can be requested and shared on any topic relating to the running of your venue. Please pass this link to your Committee members and encourage them to sign up by sending a friend request – they can then be invited to join.

Small Loans Scheme

Advantage Durham & Cleveland has also created a small fund to provide financial support to venues in the form of interest-free loans. Venues are invited to register their interest by completing the Advantage Durham & Cleveland Small Loan Application Form.

The key features of the scheme are:

  • The maximum loan is £2,500
  • Loans are interest free, repayable over 5 years
  • Repayments must be made annually in 5 equal instalments (i.e. 20% each year), with the first repayment being due on March 31st of the year following the approval of the loan

The main criteria for approving a loan are:

  • The financial viability of what is being supported with the loan money
  • The ability of the Club to meet the payback terms
  • The impact on encouraging more people to play tennis more often

Small Loans Scheme – Criteria

Durham & Cleveland LTA is making £5,000 available in interest-free loan funding in each of the next 3 years (2020 – 2022). The funding is for clubs to spend on a specific small project that they believe will make a difference at their club – it could be something that everyone wants but a shortage of funds due to other, more pressing, priorities means that it never seems to get done.

The maximum available to any one club is £2,500 and this must be no more than 50% of the total project cost. On completion of the Application Form, the Durham & Cleveland Club Liaison Officer will liaise with the Club to assess the application, and subsequently monitor the project to confirm that the work has been undertaken and expected outcomes achieved.

Applications may only be made by Clubs and venues that are registered with Durham & Cleveland LTA, and undertake to remain registered for the period of the loan. A club can only receive one loan during the period of this initiative. The Club must be willing for Durham & Cleveland LTA to publicise the award and what it was for on the Durham & Cleveland LTA website, at AGM’s and in general local and national publicity.

Here are a few examples that have been suggested as meeting the criteria:

  • Re-painting the courts/lines
  • Signage
  • Advertising
  • A portaloo if you have no toilet facilities
  • Small renovations in the clubhouse
  • Some new furniture
  • Painting outside or gutter repairs
  • Fencing repairs
  • New nets
  • A specific coach initiative to increase participation
  • Supporting Gate Access installation costs

But what would make a difference at your club?  Only you know!

Small Loans Scheme – Process

  1. A member of your Club Committee (Chairman, Treasurer, etc) should contact Durham & Cleveland LTA (Tony Pensom, Club Liaison Officer at or 07973 553507) to discuss your proposal or arrange a visit if required. 
  2. Representatives of Advantage Durham & Cleveland will visit you (probably at a Committee meeting) to explain and discuss the Advantage Durham & Cleveland initiative. We are keen to work more closely with our Clubs and would like to meet as many people as possible!
  3. You complete an Advantage Durham & Cleveland Small Loan Application Form.
  4. Advantage Durham & Cleveland will assess the application and, if needed, will ask you to make adjustments.
  5. The application is put to the Durham & Cleveland LTA County Executive Committee for approval and you will be informed immediately of the outcome. We would hope the whole process can be completed within 4 – 6 weeks.
  6. Once approved, the Durham & Cleveland LTA Treasurer will arrange payment of the loan as soon as it is required by the Club for the project.