MALVERN will be getting a one of the best basketball courts in the country next year following a successful campaign by enthusiasts of the game.

Work is due to begin on the new courts in April, and its is hoped that they will be opened to the public in June.

The new court will have a high-tech playing surface made up of interlocking tiles, providing excellent traction, shock absorption and ball bounce. This will be the first time that this Flex Court surface has been used in England.

The Malvern Hoops campaign was launched in May 2016 by basketball players Jon May and Tom Bennett, after they found that the facilities for the sport in Malvern were in poor condition and totally inadequate to meet interest in this fast-growing sport.

Malvern Town Council recently applied for Section 106 funding - money donated to Malvern Hills Distriot Council by developers - and has successfully secured £50,000, subject to planning permission being received.

The rest of the costs will be funded by a contribution of £18,000 from the town council, fundraising events put on by Malvern Hoops and donations from local county councillors’ funds.

Victoria Park currently has courts that are shared between football and basketball, and netball courts shared with tennis. Under the proposals, netball and tennis players will continue to share, generally being played at different times of the year, but the courts will be freshly marked out and netballers will enjoy the use of four new goalposts.

Meanwhile, football players will no longer have to compete with basketball players for space. The trim trail is to be moved next to the bowling club and a new court laid for basketball games.

Mayor Cllr Cynthia Palmer said: “After everyone’s hard work, I am so pleased this project is now coming to fruition. Basketball is an extremely popular sport and two basketball courts in Victoria Park will help to raise both the amount and quality of leisure facilities available to local residents.”

The project has been driven by Malvern Hoops with the support of Worcester Wolves, both of whom will run training courses and taster sessions for those who would like to try their hand at the sport.