MOST British eyes will be on Tim Henman when Wimbledon fortnight gets under way on Monday.

But the nation's tennis stars of the future are being developed much closer to home than SW19.

Bolton Arena has established itself as a training ground for some of Britain's best young tennis stars since it opened on April 5, 2001.

And four of its graduates will be flying the flag for Britain at Wimbledon next week.

Jonathan Marray, from Sheffield, will be competing in the men's singles, while David Sherwood -- also from the Steel City -- Halifax's Andrew Banks and Daniel Kiernan, from Durham, will play in the doubles.

The centre is also developing the best local tennis talent. Simon Roberts, from Bromley Cross, impressed at the Northern Vision Liverpool International tournament at Calderstones Park earlier this month.

And the 21-year-old also recently beat Welshman Ian Callaghan, who hit the headlines by dumping Mark Phillipoussis out of the Stella Artois Championships at Queen's Club earlier this month.

Jim Edgar, the head tennis professional, is delighted with the progress that the centre has made in three years.

"I think we've changed the whole landscape of tennis in Bolton," he said.

A lot was expected of Bolton Arena when it opened. It was built at a cost of £15million -- funded mainly by Sport England with help from the Lawn Tennis Association and Bolton Council -- with the intention of providing top-class tennis facilities in the North-west.

The Arena has eight indoor courts, which have exactly the same surface as used at Flushing Meadows for the US Open, two outdoor American clay courts, a gym and full physiotherapy and sports science support.

"We've achieved a lot in the three years we've been here," Edgar said. "And we are working very closely with local clubs and schools to develop the potential of our players."

To spot and nurture that talent, the coaches at Bolton Arena have set up a Schools Outreach Programme involving 60 primary and secondary schools across the local area.

The most enthusiastic youngsters are invited on to the coaching programme at the Arena -- with the most talented of those given the chance to join the Junior Performance Academy, which is aimed at players of county standard and above.

After that, the Arena's top youngsters get the chance to join the scholarship squad, run in partnership with Rivington and Blackrod High School, before progressing into the full-time squad of around 16 players.

"The idea is that whatever level you play, we have something to offer you," said Edgar. "We're trying to get children interested in taking up tennis, so we've got our coaches going into schools. The keener youngsters then get the chance to join one of our programmes.

"In the past, local tennis talent has had to go outside Bolton for coaching once they reached a certain level. The main beneficiary of this was the South Ribble Tennis Centre in Preston -- a lot of children who were at county standard were gravitating there.

"But Bolton has a history of good tennis players. There was a player called Martin Robinson in the 1970s who reached 106 in the world rankings and played at the French Open. We have had some talent in this area -- there's no question about that."

Now the aim is to develop more of that talent. And while the success of players such as Simon Roberts and Jonathan Marray can only help the Arena's reputation among the tennis community, Edgar knows that there is one thing which would really boost the profile of the sport as a whole.

"It would be great for us if Tim Henman won Wimbledon," he said. "Imagine how hip tennis would become if we had a British Wimbledon champion."

But whether Henman wins the title or not, the future looks bright for tennis in Bolton.

"We've got young players coming through now," Edgar said. "We're very confident that they will come through to play at a high standard."