An announcement from our Chairman, Stephen Hepplewhite

I am delighted to advise you that Ilkley Lawn Tennis and Squash Club has been awarded a significantly upgraded Challenger event from 2017. Prize money will be increased from $100,000 to $225,000 making our event the highest value Challenger in the world leading into a Grand Slam. This will be a major international sporting event. Press announcements are being made this week.

The success of our first Challenger in 2015 was undoubtedly a major factor in achieving this upgrade; I would like to thank everyone involved particularly the volunteers, management, staff and committee members.

By extending the weeks between the French Open and Wimbledon the LTA has been proactive in reorganising grass court tournaments with the particular aim of encouraging participation in tennis at all levels and ages. It’s important we continue to play a key role in developing tennis participation – the Challenger is our shop window. For example, we are aiming to have 2,000 children given short training introductions during the course of the week.

This will be the largest tennis event held in the north of England and is a tremendous coup for Yorkshire and of course, Ilkley in particular.

We look forward to your support for our 2016 event and a warm Yorkshire welcome to professional tennis play from all over the world.

Stephen Hepplewhite