Planned improvements to Racecourse basketball court welcomed

The basketball courts at the Racecourse are about to get a much-needed makeover after Northampton Borough Council agreed to help fund improvements.
The basketball courts at the Racecourse are well used.The basketball courts at the Racecourse are well used.
The basketball courts at the Racecourse are well used.

The authority will invest £139,000 on the installation of new floodlights, a new surface and line markings and replacement basketball and netball hoops. Its funding is being 50 per cent match-funded by Sport England.

It was welcomed by Councillor Jane Birch, a ward member for Trinity in which the Racecourse is located.

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She said: “It’s a really well thought through and well-supported project, and I’m absolutely delighted that the borough council is match funding the grant that has been raised from Sports England.

“There are great plans for the Racecourse and pursuing that it becomes the main sports park for the town. The basketball courts are very well used despite the state they are in and it’s something that is generating a huge amount of interest and support from local teams. It’s a real boost.”

Councillor Mike Hallam meanwhile welcomed the work being done by groups such as ‘Friends of the Racecourse’, adding: “They have done some great work and the ideas are coming from the people on the ground, and it’s going to be a real benefit to the Racecourse.”

But the agreement of the funding, at the latest cabinet meeting on Wednesday (November 11), did spark some debate about the Racecourse’s shortcomings, including the lack of public toilets.

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And Councillor Phil Larratt, the deputy leader of the council, added: “It’s a fantastic open space that is used by many people for sports, but we do have one embarrassment and that is the changing rooms. Sooner or later we need to do something with them, as they spend more time shut than they do open. We invested significant money into them, and we need to bring them back into continual use.”

No start date has yet been given as to when work will begin.