Culford School

First Class Facilities for a Top-Flight Tennis Education

The challenge

Culford School have an ambition to be at the forefront of sporting provision in the local community & East of England, with a particular focus on tennis, but their location within a Grade I listed park is restrictive on planning.


The solution

To design a unique six-court indoor tennis facility that can meet both LTA requirements and those outlined for building in a conservation area.

Key facts 

  • 37.5m x 67.2m x 9.8m
  • Grade I listed park
  • Conservation area
  • 600 lux lighting
  • Height restrictions
  • LTA approved

Project overview

Culford School is set in 480 acres of Suffolk parkland with an 18th Century mansion at it’s centre.  As well as providing a 1st class academic education, a strong emphasis has always been placed on sport and this is reflected in their ambition to offer one of the finest tennis programmes in the UK.

We were briefed to design an indoor tennis facility that would meet certain LTA criteria allowing them to run bespoke, personalised coaching programmes in accordance with their athlete development plan.  The design also had to meet planning criteria and restrictions for building in a conservation area are notoriously strict.

Our structure could not come within 3m of the boundary wall or exceed 9.8m in height but we still managed to come up with a unique solution that could house four championship courts and two standard, covered by a single skin 

With all fixtures and fittings also required to meet LTA standards, the school’s tennis facilities are outstanding (in our humble opinion) and have enabled the school to achieve recognition as an LTA Accredited Local Player Development Centre and Regional Player Development Centre.  The school has most recently been ranked as the number two boys’ and number three girls’ school in Great Britain by the LTA.

As well as being able to provide a top-flight tennis education now, the facilities are open to the public outside of school hours and during the holidays, which provides an additional income for the school and significantly benefits the local community.


At the beginning of 2022, we paid them a visit to check that all was ok as we hadn’t been asked to carry out a service or any maintenance on the building since it was installed 16yrs ago and we were thrilled, but not at all surprised, to see that all it needed was a clean. With strength & durability in spades, there is no reason why these indoor facilities won’t still be standing tall in another 16 years.