Torridge awarded Community Partner of the Year Award

Torridge’s economic development officer Chris Fuller accepting the award

Torridge’s economic development officer Chris Fuller accepting the award - Credit: TDC

The Atlantic Racquet Centre in Bideford was opened in 2015 and is run as a community business and charity with a key focus on improving the health and wellbeing of people living in Bideford and the surrounding areas. 

Their ethos has been to create a community friendly facility where anyone can come to play tennis and other sports such as badminton and table tennis, exercise, socialise and learn together. 

At their recent awards night, a few weeks ago they included a special category for - Community Partner of the Year, which the committee decided should be given to Torridge District Council for 2021. 

The award recognised the financial support the council provided during the pandemic and the speedy distribution of Government funding to the centre at the height of the crisis. The council’s Economic Regeneration team also assisted the club to obtain national sports funding and grants to create and promote new projects, allowing them to continue on their mission to deliver health focused benefits to the local community, health and wellbeing groups. 

The funding enabled the club to broaden their outreach work, and increase sport participation levels, which came to the fore as important factors for people’s personal health and mental wellbeing during the pandemic. 

Torridge’s economic development officer Chris Fuller attended the event to collect the award on behalf of the council and said: “I was delighted to be able to collect this award on behalf of all the teams at Torridge who have worked so hard this year to support businesses and organisations such as the Atlantic Racquet Centre during the pandemic. 

“As a Council we have distributed over £56 Million in support funds across Torridge, supporting over 3,000 businesses and coincidentally around 3,000 individuals as well. 

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“The club has become an important cornerstone of facilities in the area, supporting the physical and mental health of our residents, which is an important part of the council’s own agenda for sports promotion in our communities.”     

General Manager at Atlantic Racquet Centre Tom Vinall said: “We were delighted to award our brand new ‘Community Partner of the Year’ award to Torridge District Council in 2021. TDC, its members, officers and staff have been incredibly supportive of ARC over the past 12 months; helping us to bounce back from lockdowns, increase our revenue, and access new funding pots to create various different community groups and activities. 

“Their support has also led to us successfully opening our brand-new community gym & changing rooms this December. We’re really proud to have a local council so committed to supporting local sport and recreation charities such as us here at Atlantic Racquet Centre.” 

Torridge Council are also now preparing to take over the running of its own leisure centres and services from April 2022 and expect to make further announcements on progress on these projects in the new year. 

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