Restauration of Pau Court: video interview with its new Pro et President (10 min)

20 September 2023

The beautiful Jeu de Paume building in Pau has the rare characteristic in the small world of our sport of not belonging to an association or private individual. Owned by the municipality, it is the latter that decides on the use of the building, its restoration and whether to entrust its operation to a club. François Bayrou, mayor of Pau, currently in his second term of office, had listed in his latest campaign program the proposal to renovate the Jeu de Paume court to bring it up to international competition standards. Very sensitive to his city's historic past, the former minister asked his teams to draw up a renovation project that could be carried out in two phases. His decision is expected in autumn 2023.

The first phase, in late 2023 and into early 2024, would involve restoring the court to its original space. This would involve rebuilding two galleries and relocating the Tambour: a major project involving the destruction and recreation of walls.

The second phase, beyond 2025, will focus on adjusting the space to create an attractive clubhouse with the restaurant, a tenant of the town, which currently has its own right-of-way on the building. The building is not classified as a historic monument, but is located in a protected zone.

While the "renovation" project has therefore not yet begun nevertheless, this summer the court underwent a serious facelift with a complete paint job, black-gray walls and oxblood colored flooring, a reference identified at the time of its creation, new LED lighting, and blackout blinds on the "cathedral" windows to the south. The building will be dedicated solely to the practice of Real Tennis when it is handed over for the European Heritage Days on September 16 and 17 2023.

To see the interview with Simon Berry (Club president) and Wayne Davies (Professional) filmed over the weekend of 16/17 September, take a look: https://youtu.be/NJmrRwR_Ol4 created by Ben Geytenbeek.

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