LTA Annual Report 2018
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The LTA Annual Report for 2018 has been published, outlining the key progress made last year in our work to grow tennis in Great Britain.
It was a year of transition for the LTA, one during which we laid the foundations and reorganised our resources and our people ready to deliver our new long-term strategy for tennis in Britain.
Last year saw us welcome both our new Chief Executive, Scott Lloyd, and our new Chair, Lord Davies – forming a new leadership team for a new era of tennis in Britain. These appointments were complemented with the addition of further significant experience and expertise to our Board, our Executive team and our group of Colleagues.
Central to our work in 2018 was the development of our new vision, Tennis Opened Up, and defining our new mission to grow tennis by making it relevant, accessible, welcoming and enjoyable. This new vision and mission will shape everything we do going forward, building on the solid platform our work in 2018 has given us.
As a not-for-profit organisation, we invest our revenue back into tennis to help grow and develop the sport. The investment we make in tennis for Britain each year is significant, and 2018 was no different as we took a strategic decision to maintain our expenditure levels rather than reduce spend to align with income. This ensured we could build the foundations we needed to, but in part contributed to us recording as loss for the year.
Our overall loss also reflects a significant fall in the market value of our investments at the end of December 2018, following a downturn in the market in the last quarter of the year. The value of these varies depending on the state of the market at the point it is recorded, but they are part of a managed investment plan that is successfully building our assets over the long-term and generating more money for us to invest back into the sport. As such, the financial health of tennis in Britain remains strong, and what is important in the short term is that we plan to return an operating profit in 2019.
Our investment in tennis is spread across the whole of Britain, covering Wales, Scotland and our five English regions. We manage activity in the English regions directly ourselves, and make direct contributions to both Tennis Wales and Tennis Scotland as part of the delivery of tennis in those countries. On top of that, all nations and regions benefit from the central activity we undertake and funding we invest into the sport, meaning our investment across the country is done on a broadly on a close to even per capita basis.
This investment in tennis for Britain helped us make some significant progress last year. Our commitment to safeguarding has seen us put it right at the heart of what we do, and in 2018 we ensured all our registered venues implemented safeguarding standards as part of their annual registration. This focus will continue through this year and beyond as we implement what is a sports industry-leading safeguarding strategy.
We increased our investment into performance last year with the roll-out of our new 10-year Performance Strategy which aims to make Great Britain one of the most respected nations in the world for player development. This will include two new National Academies – scheduled to open in Loughborough and Stirling in September this year – and a network of regional and local player development centres.
Growing participation however remains core to what we do – whether that is putting rackets in the hands of more children through Tennis for Kids, or our work to make community park tennis facilities sustainable and more accessible for local communities.
We also continued to drive the visibility of our sport to new audiences, with our world-class major events forming a core element of both our income and expenditure. Last year saw an increase in revenue generated by every one of our four major summer grass court events at The Queen’s Club, Birmingham, Nottingham and Eastbourne. We invest significantly in staging these as part of our work to promote and showcase the sport, with all of them requiring substantial building of infrastructure and facilities on an annual basis. Our summer events form a grass court season in the lead up to Wimbledon, providing a platform to help players prepare and for us to build the profile and visibility of tennis and engage fans.
On the court, we saw success on the international stage from a broader base of British players on the ATP, WTA and ITF tours, while those pulling on the national kit and winning trophies and medals for Great Britain included our Wheelchair, University, Seniors, Visually Impaired, Learning Disability and Deaf tennis teams.
We could not achieve any of this on our own. As the National Governing Body for tennis, what we do is work together with organisations and individuals at a local, regional, national and international level to achieve our goals.
Our thanks go to everyone who contributed to the progress we made in 2018 in any capacity, however big or small. We look forward to that continuing as we work together to grow tennis for Britain this year and beyond.