Ludlow Castle Tennis Club has been thrown a lifeline grant by Sport England, with the club facing an enormous bill to restore its five flood-ravaged courts at The Linney.

Over the past five years Ludlow has invested in new Astroturf and artificial clay surfaces to make it the leading provider of tennis facilities in the area.

After the first two floods of the winter, members volunteered to clear the surfaces as a stopgap measure.

However, the most recent inundation covered all five courts in so much mud that only total rejuvenation by a specialist company can salvage them.

The work, due to start at the end of March, will cost well into five figures, and Sport England have granted the club £5,000 of National Lottery cash to help pay for it.

“The Sport England money is an invaluable lifeline in helping us meet the overall bill,” said Jenny Nichol, chair of Ludlow Castle Tennis Club