SSL service is ‘above and beyond’ for Teeside 3G

The Acklam Green Centre is a first-class community facility serving the Middlesbrough area. With a youth centre, café, conference facilities, training and meeting rooms, the centre also features a full size 3G synthetic turf pitch and changing rooms.

When the popular 3G turf pitch was reaching the end of its lifespan, the facility operator, the Actes charity (Achieving Change Through Enterprising Solutions), sought quotations from various sports pitch consultants to deliver the project.

Paul Wales, Chief Executive of Actes commented; “The level of detail that was provided in the (SSL) quote compared to other consultants gave us a greater degree of confidence that SSL knew what they were doing. Additional information was provided with the quote and the response time was quicker”.

SSL were pleased to be appointed by the Actes charity to deliver the project. The scope of SSL’s services included project feasibility & survey of the old synthetic pitch, producing a design, contract specification, administering a tender process and carrying out construction phase project management/quality control.

As part of the design development process, SSL suggested improvements to the line marking arrangements to provide improved FA compliant safety run off zones for the new pitch. A variety of FA compliant small-sided pitch markings were also incorporated to help maximise usage of the new facility.

Paul provided particular reference to the level of service provided by the SSL team, including project lead consultant John Bennett; “John provided updates throughout the project and responded to any questions or requirements for additional information in a timely manner. During meetings, John was very focused and thorough in the information he gave us and went above and beyond… Overall excellent service”

We are proud to have worked on behalf of the Actes charity to upgrade a vital asset to the local community.

Uxbridge FC praise ‘invaluable service’ from SSL

SSL are proud to add the impressive 3G pitch at Uxbridge FC to an extensive list of non-league stadia pitch conversions.

With a capacity of almost 4000, the club’s Honeycroft home ground has been extensively redeveloped as the club aims to progress up the football pyramid. SSL were appointed by the club as sports pitch consultants to deliver the pitch redevelopment.

Prior to construction commencing, SSL’s role included site survey work, project design and securing planning permission. A formal tender process was administered with several experienced pitch builders submitting bids. A preferred contractor was identified and after preparing & issuing formal contract documents, SSL’s role continued throughout the construction phase providing the Step 4 club with independent quality control assurance and, ultimately, a successful project sign-off.

As Mark Bantock, Uxbridge FC Chairman, explains;

“Uxbridge Football Club have had a relationship with SSL for several years, originating when the initial concept of replacing our existing grass stadia pitch with a synthetic surface was first considered.

From the very beginning SSL have provided an invaluable service, incorporating the initial design, through the difficult planning stage and finally managing the installation process.

Whilst ours was not a straightforward design or install, it is inconceivable that we would have been able to manage the process without the knowledge and professionalism of SSL, and Wes Bugg in particular. We would have no hesitation and indeed have recommended SSL to other parties.”

After an almost 5 year process of advice, design development, planning and project management services, SSL are thrilled by the fantastic end result and the recognition from a happy client.

Drone images courtesy of Sports Surface Solutions.

Stadium Rugby Pitch Unveiled in Colwyn Bay

A 3G synthetic turf rugby pitch at Stadium CSM is the latest sports facility development at Parc Eirias in Colwyn Bay.

SSL were delighted to be appointed as project consultant working on behalf of Conwy County Borough Council to deliver the new pitch which is located within the infield of an athletics track.

Following site survey works including locating and mapping underground services, investigating ground conditions and assessing surface levels, a design proposal was presented to the council together with an overview of the proposed construction methodology and outline construction costings. A contract specification was produced and the project tendered to specialist contractors. During the works onsite, SSL carefully monitored the build process, completing key stage checks and quality control sign offs, whilst also keeping tabs on the construction costs.

The end result is a stunning 3G synthetic pitch with a surface system that achieves both World Rugby and FIFA Quality performance standards.

The stadium hosts high profile sporting fixtures including Under 20’s Wales Internationals, RGC matches and North Wales Crusaders. In addition the facility is the venue for major music events. SSL worked together with the turf manufacturer and contractor to help deliver a solution to protect the 3G turf surface when recently covered over for major music concert events.

Mally Tidswell, Principal Leisure Manager at Conwy County Borough Council commented;

“SSL had every stage of the project covered.  It was extremely well managed and nothing was too much trouble.  It really took the stress out of planning and delivery.  Excellent support, regular contact and a passion for delivering top class facilities.

The new facility is a real bonus.  It’s made such a positive difference to usage levels.  This allows us to increase income and support the community and other key users all year round. 

The attention to detail in this project was key, delivered on time and within budget which is essential.  SSL are a company you can trust.”

SSL are proud to have designed and delivered several sports facilities on the Parc Eirias site, including a synthetic turf 3G football pitch, 3G rugby pitch and sand dressed hockey pitch.

FIFA Quality 3G for the Granite City

SSL are proud to have delivered a replacement 3G pitch in the ‘Granite City’ of Aberdeen.

Following a formal procurement process, Sport Aberdeen selected SSL to provide sports pitch consultancy services for the redevelopment of the Garthdee 3G pitch.

After being appointed, SSL completed site survey work and provided a comprehensive feasibility report advising on base remedial works whilst also discussing options for other potential facility enhancements.

SSL produced a contract specification document fully detailing the required works and making clear the construction standards to be followed. SSL assisted the Sport Aberdeen procurement team with the analysis of contractor tender bids and provided project management & key stage sign-offs throughout the site works.

The new pitch surface achieves FIFA Quality performance standards providing reassurance of a high quality surface & installation. In addition to the pitch surface works, a new rigid panel perimeter fence was installed and the old floodlight lamps replaced with modern energy efficient LEDs.

Following completion of the works, we were delighted to receive positive feedback from Stuart Naysmith, Project Manager on behalf of Sport Aberdeen, who commented that SSL were “a pleasure to work with” and remarked that SSL “kept close communication going with all contractors, suppliers and project team.”

Sport Aberdeen are an award-winning charity, committed to creating opportunities and changing lives through sport and physical activity. We are sure the replacement 3G pitch will provide a facility to keep people active for many years to come.

High Quality Pitch Replacement for Stonyhurst College

Located in the heart of the Ribble Valley, the synthetic pitch at Stonyhurst College marks the latest high quality project designed and delivered by the SSL Team.

Having been founded in 1593, Stonyhurst is the oldest Jesuit College in the world and one of the leading Catholic Boarding and Day Schools for 3 to 18 year olds. When it was decided to replace the 21 year old synthetic pitch, the College turned to SSL to help deliver the project.

Within weeks of being appointed, SSL completed a comprehensive condition survey on the old synthetic pitch providing independent advice on redevelopment options. A formal tender process quickly followed and a contractor appointed. SSL were then on hand to carry out quality control inspections through the works onsite.

The end result is an impressive new FIH compliant sand dressed surface system complete with contrasting coloured surrounds proudly embedding the College logo. Additional features include new maintenance machinery to allow site ground staff to keep the surface in top condition, synthetic turf covered kickboards to reduce hockey ball impact noise and Stonyhurst branded hockey goals.

The works were programmed to overlap the Easter holidays in order to reduce the impact on College sports provision. Completed in less than 30 working days, the project was delivered within budget.

Paul Sharples, Commercial Director at Stonyhurst commented; SSL were appointed due to the ‘Whole Project’ offer ensuring value for money and supporting Stonyhurst with the various complexities associated with a project of this scale. A very supportive team who led our project in a professional manner which met the brief and budget requirements. The service provided was very good, clear communication, support and advice throughout”.


SSL Deliver ‘Huge Asset’ for Bowland High

After numerous years seeking to develop a synthetic turf pitch, Bowland High School turned to Surfacing Standards Limited to help turn their vision into reality.

Located in the picturesque Forest of Bowland, the school was previously unable to provide sufficient physical education for many weeks of the year due to the playing fields suffering from excessive ponding during wet weather, coupled with a large area of the school land being uneven and steeply sloping meaning usage for any safe sporting purposes was simply not possible.

SSL carried out a review of the overall site and possible locations and sizes of synthetic turf pitch that could be accommodated, together with providing advice on surface types and their associated usages. A design was produced taking into account a variety of considerations, not least the fact that the development had to be considerate to blend in with the surrounding Lancashire countryside. A careful site levelling proposal, culvert diversion including new pathway bridge, wildflower planting, hedgerow restoration and other ecological enhancement measures all formed part of the SSL design which secured planning permission for the development.

The value of having the correct support team in place is certainly well appreciated by the school as Operations Manager Helen Dakin explained;

“The development of a synthetic pitch represents a significant investment and it was vital to have the best project team in place. With our school having no previous experience of developing this type of facility we appointed SSL, a specialist sports pitch consultant. SSL acted as project lead, with consultant John Bennett guiding the project from initial concept, through design, planning, procurement and project management of the construction phase itself. Being located within an AONB and on a site that suffered from significant drainage issues, the project was not without its hurdles to overcome. SSL provided a calm, concise and very experienced approach to navigating those issues”.

The end result is incredible, a huge asset to the school and users have commented on the high quality of our 3G pitch in comparison to others they have played on. SSL are clearly experts in the niche sports pitch industry and we cannot speak highly enough of the service we have received.”

The outcome is a stunning facility that is complimentary to its surrounds and one that will benefit the school and local community for years to come.

Elite Pitch Opens at Leicester City Hockey Club

SSL were delighted to recently attend the official opening of the stunning new hockey venue at St Margaret’s Pastures, the proud home of Leicester City Hockey Club.

The opening of the facility marks the outcome of over 3 years of work by the SSL Team, not to mention several more years of dedicated work by club members and other key stakeholders. In addition to taking on the design role and leading the contractor procurement process on behalf of the club, SSL successfully secured the required planning permission and were on hand to offer support throughout the construction phase, carrying out a series of quality control checks at each key stage of the works.

After making use of various facilities across the city in recent years, the club, one of English hockey’s most successful, now boasts an elite level new pitch located in a central location within the city.


It’s clear the new pitch will have a significant impact, as the club’s Vice President of Development Sarah Treanor explained;

“It’s going to inspire a whole new raft of hockey players across all ages and abilities. It’s the catalyst for our site development as we move into the next stages of the programme to make this one of the leading community facilities for multi-sport in the city. All our members love the pitch and we cannot wait for next season to start. It’s exactly what we hoped for.”

Sarah, who was an integral part of the project team, also provided an insight to SSL’s involvement;

“The support, advice and knowledge provided enabled us to get comfort that our specific needs and requirements would be met in an open and honest way. We were advised properly with regards to planning permission and environmental management and formal designs were produced that enabled the chosen contractor to price their work incredibly accurately. Transparent charges, fair costs, a wealth of knowledge, skills and a highly professional service meant our project was a huge success. We would highly recommend SSL.”

With the club boasting 5 senior women’s teams and 3 senior men’s teams, not to mention many junior teams and with growing demand for walking hockey, SSL look forward to the new facility providing a safe, high quality environment for hockey player development for many years.


Stamford Double Pitch ‘Exceeds Expectations’

SSL are proud to have delivered a significant sport facility development for the historic Stamford Endowed Schools.

SSL were appointed as project lead with a remit to provide a full design service, secure planning permission, and oversee the construction of a double hockey pitch facility.

Various specialist survey works were carried out, scrutinized by the SSL Team and factored into the design process in order to ensure a robust construction. By applying such attention to detail during the design stage, we were able to ensure the proposed development would be considerate from a planning permission perspective.

Stamford Endowed Schools Director of Estates & Facilities, Stewart Dorey commented;

I recently had the pleasure of working with SSL and I have nothing but positive things to say about the experience.  From start to finish, they were professional, knowledgeable, and incredibly helpful in helping us determine the best course of action for our sports facility.  Not only did they provide us with a comprehensive evaluation of our current sports surface, but they also took the time to listen to our concerns and goals and amend the brief where required.  They were able to provide expert advice on the best materials and installation methods to meet our needs and budget.  Throughout the process, they kept us informed and up-to-date on progress and were always available to answer any questions we had.  The final result exceeded our expectations and we couldn’t be happier with the outcome.

I would highly recommend SSL to anyone in need of expert guidance and advice for their sports facility. Their expertise and professionalism truly set them apart from the rest”.

The facility, designed to achieve FIH National performance standards, includes two full size hockey pitches installed by SIS Pitches, both incorporating a certified sand dressed synthetic turf surface complete with contrasting coloured surrounds.

We are delighted to have played our part in enhancing the sports facilities at Stamford and also pleased to receive more positive feedback on the services provided by the SSL Team.

Impressive Pitch Reconstruction for Marple Hall

When Marple Hall School, near Stockport, looked to refurbish their synthetic pitch which was approaching 20 years of age, they turned to SSL for advice and independent guidance.

The pitch was suffering from excessive ponding and a high number of surface depressions making it unplayable at certain times of the year and failing to meet any recognised industry standards.

Following an initial site meeting, SSL put forward an itemised schedule of survey works to determine the root cause of the issues. Detailed site investigation works followed including intrusive trial pits being excavated across the pitch, before being fully reinstated to allow the school to have continued use of the facility.

Together with knowledge gained following research of the local site context and history, the lead SSL consultant analysed the results of the site investigation works. Design solutions were put forward, together with a commentary helping the school and key project funders understand the advantages of each. Accurate outline costings were provided to further guide the project development route.

With differing sub-base characteristics uncovered to different areas of the pitch, SSL adopted different techniques to certain areas in order to ensure a high quality end result and to ensure project budget was not exceeded. Furthermore a design solution was proposed to improve the transfer of water into the drainage network whilst also significantly increasing the attenuation provided for within the pitch sub base itself.

The project outcome speaks for itself. A bespoke reconstructed facility free from depressions and, importantly, providing increased attenuation and no longer suffering during periods of heavy rainfall.

The School’s Facilities and Estates Manager Peter Hutchinson commented; “SSL’s knowledge on these projects is outstanding. The school now has a facility which is one of the best I have seen. We wouldn’t have got this far if it wasn’t for SSL finding hidden drainage issues which was 10 year old problem with the school pitch. Schools often talk to each other for recommendations, and SSL will definitely be on the list for companies to use.”

SSL Consultant John Bennett added; “Pre-design stage investigation works were crucial to understanding the cause of underlying issues with the old pitch. Rather than trying to paper over cracks, the project team understood the value of adopting the techniques we put forward to help ensure a high quality end result.”

In addition to the synthetic pitch refurbishment, SSL also delivered a new floodlit synthetic turf MUGA elsewhere on the school site. Works involved facility design, gaining planning permission, the tender process and overseeing the build with quality control inspections throughout.

The end result