WALL Heath Tennis Club’s new £75,000 clubhouse, described as a “real community asset”, was officially opened at the weekend.

Deputy Mayor of Dudley Councillor Dave Tyler was on hand to cut the ribbon and announce the new building open at a celebratory ceremony on Saturday (September 24).

The new clubhouse, which has disabled access, an open plan kitchen, a large community room, toilets and changing rooms, replaces the group’s former home, which after being built in 1972 had become unfit for purpose.

Claire Colling, club secretary, said: “We were so excited to open the clubhouse and hope it makes all the hard work that has gone into it worth it.

“It was a lovely afternoon, so many people attended and I cannot thank all the guests enough for making the event so wonderful.

“There have been so many volunteers who have put months of hard work into getting the building ready for the opening.

“The building will make such a big difference, not just to the members of the club, but the whole of the area. We want Wall Heath Tennis Club to grow to something that is valuable to the community.”

Cllr Tyler, who is also a Wall Heath ward councillor, said: “The club’s new headquarters are absolutely brilliant.

“With it they can now encourage more people to take up the sport, while the building itself will be a real asset to the community as well as the club.”

The new build has been funded mainly by Cory Environmental and Ibstock Cory, along with smaller grants from Dudley Community Forum, Helping Hands and fundraising events organised by volunteers.

Claire said: “About three years ago we were looking at doing some repairs, as we knew that unless we did something to save it, the building wasn’t going to last much longer, but we decided it would be easier to build a brand new clubhouse.

“The clubhouse has such a good social atmosphere and we thought about what else there is to do in the area on a Saturday for all the kids that come here if there was nothing here.

“We got together and discussed funding opportunities and we are absolutely delighted with the support shown in raising funds needed for this lovely new brick building.”

The next phase in the club’s development is to make sure the courts are fully accessible for people with disabilities.