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LTA

2023 Finance and Governance Report sets out achievements against 5 year plan

• 3 MINUTE READ

The LTA is today publishing its Finance and Governance Report for 2023.

Adult annual tennis participation grew 44% over the period of the LTA’s 2019-2023 five year plan, as set out in the LTA’s 2023 Finance and Governance report. The 44% rise was for the period from January 2019 to December 2023.

Over this period, there was growth in participation across both men and women, all age groups, and in both regular monthly and recreational annual play across all five LTA English regions, Scotland and Wales.

The year to the end of 2023 saw 5.6 million adults (aged 16+) playing annually and over 2.6 million adults playing monthly. There were also 3.6 million children playing annually, 7% higher than in 2020.  Tennis was one of the few sports to have increased children’s participation numbers compared to 2018/19.

Not only were more people playing tennis more often, but there were also increases across all socio-economic and age groups including both younger people (16-24s) and those from lower socio-economic backgrounds.

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During the five year period the LTA manged to maintain a robust financial position despite a number of significant challenges including the global pandemic, the Russia/Ukraine war, the cost of living crisis and significant inflation. Over the period 2019-2023 the group largely balanced its income and expenditure, although did record a net loss of £8.7m - largely attributable to expenditure of £5m on emergency Covid support packages to the tennis community, and £5.8m of net investments, predominantly grants, made by the LTA Tennis Foundation during the period.

In 2023, once return on investments and tax had been taken into account the LTA Group recorded a loss for the year of £2.2m. This included a net loss of £3.2m by the LTA Tennis Foundation, largely driven by grant-making as the charity steps up its investment into community tennis around Great Britain.

This year is the first year that charitable grants at these levels have appeared in the accounts and further payments, particularly relating to the investment in refurbishing park tennis courts across Britian, will continue to be reflected at higher levels over the coming years as the work of the Foundation continues.

Following the completion of the 2019-2023 strategy, earlier this year, the LTA released its new Vision document for 2024-2026 outlining the strategic direction for the next three years. Tennis Opened Up remains very much its vision, building on the approach and successes over the past five years and with a renewed focus on the areas where it is making the most impact.

Over the next three year strategic cycle, the LTA will further develop its work, looking to increase the visibility of the sport even more and further grow and diversify its audience of fans, players, and workforce.

Scott Lloyd, LTA CEO said: “In 2019 we wanted to strengthen our sport and attract new and diverse audiences and so we developed a common vision - Tennis Opened Up - with a mission to grow tennis by making it relevant, accessible, welcoming and enjoyable.

“This vision and mission sat at the heart of our 2019-2023 strategy and have delivered real success with the ambitious targets we set for increasing participation exceeded. Whilst there is still more to do, the data we have shows that our strategy is working and we will continue to evolve it over the next three years.”

Simon Steele, LTA Finance Director, said: “The last five years have seen a number of unprecedented external challenges for our business and therefore our finances, but robust and responsible financial management has enabled us to continue to invest in tennis to help deliver our strategy. 

"We’re now seeing increasing charitable grants from the LTA Tennis Foundation being reflected in our group accounts. The targeted deployment of this money from the Foundation has a critical role in growing the sport and achieving the Foundation’s aim of improving lives through tennis.”

2023 also saw some significant highlights on court. There were 16 British singles players in the top 200 during the year and nine different British players in the top 100 during the year - the most since 1978. There were world No.1 rankings for Neal Skupski in men’s doubles and Alfie Hewett in men’s wheelchair singles, whilst Joe Salisbury won the men’s doubles titles, with Rajeev Ram, at both the US Open and ATP Finals.

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The 2023 Rothesay Open Nottingham saw the first all British women’s tour final since 1977, with Katie Boulter taking the title and joining Andy Murray who won the men’s title at the same event. At The Championships, Wimbledon, there were five British champions – Neal Skupski, Henry Searle, Alfie Hewett, Gordon Reid, and Mark Ceban.

In September, the highest ever Davis Cup crowd in Britain saw Great Britain beat Australia, Switzerland and France to secure a place in the final eight in Malaga. In November the Billie Jean King Cup play-off tie against Sweden in London saw another victory for the British team.

Read the full finance and governance report

Other activity in 2023

2023 also saw continued investment in programmes to make tennis more inclusive and reach a wide range of communities:

  • Over 18,000 teachers were trained to deliver tennis in schools, via the LTA Youth Schools programme for primary and secondary schools with thousands of £250 vouchers to be spent on equipment or coaching also redeemed.

  • The LTA’s She Rallies ambition continued to lead the way towards tennis becoming a truly gender balanced sport with a focus on the areas where the LTA could make the most difference –participation, workforce and the visibility of tennis. A high-profile partnership was launched with Prime Video to help to train coaches to deliver lessons and guidance specifically designed for girls.

  • The successful LTA SERVES programme, which helps young people who might not previously have had the opportunity to experience tennis, got record numbers of players on court each month in 2023, with figures at more than 24,000. 2023 also saw the SERVES Level up London project launched with a specific focus on enhancing female engagement.

  • Alongside this, the number of players playing monthly in the LTA’s Open Court Programme, a national scheme that actively promotes and delivers opportunities for disabled people to get involved in tennis, reached more than 16,000 in 2023. Both of these programmes are supported by Sport England.
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