Last summer the amount of people playing tennis rose for the first time in five years, according to figures released by the Lawn Tennis Association.

The LTA claimed 131,019 more people in the UK played the sport in June 2017 than in June 2016 and figures are expected to rise again this summer due to new schemes such as The Great British Tennis Weekend and Transforming British Tennis Together.

A total of £250m was put aside by the sport’s governing body in 2017 to improve facilities across the country and Jo Cunliffe, the Tennis Development Manager for the North East, has seen a big difference in her area.

“We’ve been implementing quite a lot of programs in terms of looking at parks, clubs, and the community within the education sector.

“We’ve obviously been investing quite a substantial amount of money in those areas within those three or four key working environments. We’ve definitely seen an increase in participation.”

As part of the Transforming Tennis Together scheme, which was launched last year, the LTA is hoping to provide 750 newly-covered indoor courts and more than 4,000 newly floodlit courts across the country within the next decade.

“We’ve also got the Great British Tennis Weekend coming up which is the 12th and 13th of May,” adds Cunliffe.

“That’s a promotional event where all of our venues will take up the opportunity to open their doors for free.

“Hopefully the public can come, trial out and get to know the venue and what their offer is and hopefully that will inspire more people to come and get involved with the club.”

Last summer’s rise coincided with the Wimbledon fortnight, when Britain had both a men’s and a women’s quarter-finalist (Andy Murray and Johanna Konta) for the first time since 1973.

Great Britain also won the Davis Cup in 2015 and Matt Wigham, a LTA Level 4 Senior Club Coach at the Silksworth Tennis Centre in Sunderland, believes the county’s success has encouraged more people to take up the sport.

“Andy Murray’s achievement is obviously absolutely incredible and to have him as a British tennis player is phenomenal.

“Kyle Edmund is also doing very well at the moment and Jo Konta is quite a high profile within tennis. They’re all amazing assets to have and I’m sure the LTA are glad to have them.”

Wigham admits it has been challenging for the LTA to encourage more people to start playing tennis due to the range of other sports which are played in the UK.

Even so, he believes the LTA’s new strategies are making an impact.

“There has certainly been a big push to get more families playing tennis and non-traditional groups of people that might not necessarily come through the doors of a tennis club.

“We’ve definitely seen more people of all ages taking up the game in the last year or so.”