The City of Albany will explore new options for a community tennis centre after a feasibility study presented to the council earlier this year revealed a bigger “regional” centre was not feasible. In March, the outcomes of a feasibility study for a regional tennis centre in Albany were presented to the council, including two cost estimates of more than $20 million. A working group, which included Emu Point Tennis Club, Merrifield Tennis Club, Lawley Park Tennis Club, the Lower Great Southern Tennis Association and Tennis West, was previously established to oversee the project,. In an officer’s report published ahead of the meeting, it noted Albany’s tennis offering needed to be expanded due to the poor conditions of existing courts, lack of lighting and lack of facilities preventing clubs from hosting district, regional and State competitions. “The study clearly justifies the need for and provides evidence that the existing facilities are inadequate and will not meet the future demands of the population,” the report said. The report stated membership numbers across all tennis clubs indicated there was an opportunity to develop a facility that included 16 courts. Four sites were considered as a possible location for the proposed hub including Collingwood Park Reserve, Lower King Road, Emu Point Tennis Club, Centennial Park Sporting Precinct. The feasibility study found Collingwood Park was the preferred site for the proposed centre because it offered enough space to co-locate other sports such as football and hockey. Two concept plans were developed for the centre at the Collingwood Park site, with cost estimates of $27 million and $21 million. “During the analysis it became clear that a fully developed regional tennis centre in isolation would not be a viable option in its own right and requires a combination of sporting partners working collaboratively for success such as football or hockey,” the report stated. “As a result of the high costs noted in the report and recent more affordable tennis facility developments in other local government areas ... the proposal for a regional facility at the identified site has been questioned by the local community, city officers and council.” The report noted the need for the co-location of other local sporting clubs to the new facility. After debating the feasibility study, councillors voted to “re-evaluate the scope of the project” and rework the model in collaboration with the tennis community. The tennis working group has been reactivated to consider options for a smaller-scale community tennis facility rather than a regional hub. City of Albany chief executive Andrew Sharpe said the group would work together to consider suitable sites for the future facility. “The Tennis 2020 facility development framework requires a large community facility to have a minimum of 12 courts and focuses on the development of tennis, local participation, identifying players with potential and nurturing talent,” he said.