SSL are on the move!

It’s a new year and a new decade and we are delighted to announce that SSL have relocated to a fantastic new Head Office location!

The new office is situated in the county of Rutland, on the edge of the historic market town of Uppingham.

Steve Wilcockson, Managing Director explained; “The company has expanded recently and certainly out grown the old office at Corbygate Business Park. It’s important to provide the platform and environment for the SSL team to continue to provide our clients with the high level of consultancy service we have become renowned for, and our new office facility will certainly allow us to do that. With numerous exciting projects already secured for the next 12 month period, we are looking forward to starting off the New Year in our new modern office.”

The new SSL office (pictured) is located on Uppingham Gate, a prestigious purpose built development which benefits from excellent transport links being just of the A47.

Introducing our new HQ

Our new address is; Surfacing Standards Limited, Office 2, Empingham House, Uppingham Gate, Ayston Road, Uppingham, Rutland, LE15 9NY. Our office contact number remains the same, Tel – 01536 400012.

SSL were established over 15 years ago offering independent consultancy services. The relocation to a new and improved office reaffirms our commitment to providing an exceptional level of service by ensuring our team operate within the very best surroundings.

Happy New Year!

As we commence the new decade, the SSL team would like to say a big thank you to all of our clients.

Over the last year the SSL team has developed and delivered a wide variety of high quality sports facilities to further emphasise our position as one of the most respected consultancy practices in the industry.

Over recent months the team have also been working hard on some very exciting new company developments which we look forward to announcing shortly.

Happy New Year to all our past and present clients and here’s to delivering more first-rate facilities in 2020!

SSL client is Independent Secondary School of the Year for the North West!

SSL are delighted to hear that Withington Girls’ School has been named North West Independent Secondary School of the Year by The Sunday Times and also regained its position in the top 25 elite independent schools in the UK.

Having been engaged with as sports pitch consultant to deliver the reconstruction of the 20 year old synthetic hockey pitch at the school’s site in South Manchester, SSL are thrilled that the dedication and passion of the staff, pupils and everyone involved at the school has been recognised.

And there is cause for double celebration as the redeveloped synthetic hockey pitch has recently achieved FIH (International Hockey Federation) National certification. This means that the SSL designed facility meets all requirements of the FIH Quality Programme for Hockey Turf. Tests include measurements of how the ball interacts with the playing surface, ensures the surface provides well-being and protection for players and includes checks to confirm the pitch has been built to the dimensions, line marking, slope & surface drainage requirements of the FIH.

This means that the facility meets hockey performance standards that are recognised internationally, something that is certainly something the school can be very proud of.

To hear more about the project and the role SSL played, take a look at the project video…

Glowing Feedback for Bolton Pitch Refurbishment

Great feedback from another happy SSL client following the refurbishment of the synthetic pitch at Canon Slade School in Bolton!

The synthetic pitch, now in it’s 20th year since being constructed, is now benefitting from a complete refurbishment. Since re-opening the pitch has been used as a training base for Bolton Hockey Club as well as hosting a club initiative to get adults to learn to play hockey.

SSL were initially engaged by a key local funder of the project, who saw the value of engaging with a specialist consultant at an early stage. SSL carried out an extensive survey of the old synthetic pitch and provided the school with independent advice and options, including outline costings, of how the facility could be refurbished.

Following the tender process, administered by SSL, the construction phase commenced on 18th March. The old short pile synthetic turf and prefabricated shockpad was removed, some minor repair works carried out the pitch base, before a brand new insitu rubber shockpad and sand dressed synthetic turf was installed. To help protect the investment, drainage improvement works were also carried out given the facility had suffered from water ingress from an adjacent grassed bank for several years.

18th March 2019 – Works About to Commence

Following various quality control checks carried out by SSL throughout the works, with regular reports provided to the school, on 26th April the revamped facility was handed over for the school to use. With the works being deliberately programmed to coincide with the Easter Holidays, that ensured the pitch was only out of action for 20 school days, meaning minimal disruption to the school’s PE timetable and external community users.

26th April 2010 – Completed Refurbishment

Rachel Costello, Head of PE commented “The new surface is brighter and the two tone colour to distinguish the areas is a great idea for both staff and pupils. The work on laying the new surface was completed to a high standard and the new surface and shockpad is of excellent quality. Currently, the pitch is occupied 86% of available time by football and hockey clubs. We are really pleased with how efficient the team was in completing the project.”

SSL Deliver 3G for Cambridgeshire School

SSL played a key role in enhancing Hinchingbrooke School’s already extensive range of leisure facilities by overseeing the refurbishment of their 3G pitch.

The school is part of the ACES Academies Trust whose vision is to raise aspiration and achievement for the communities they serve.

Our detailed survey of the old pitch identified important information from which SSL could provide the Cambridgeshire school with a Feasibility report including accurate outline project costings. SSL then put together a schedule of works and contract specification on which to tender the project to several specialist pitch contractors.

SSL’s involvement didn’t end there with quality control inspections throughout the construction phase as well as chairing progress meetings and project handover.

Hinchingbrooke School has an extensive range of fantastic sports facilities that are available for hire when not in use by the students. We are pleased to see a fantastic end result with a 3G facility that will benefit both the school and the local community.

Bespoke Synthetic Pitch for Withington Girls’ School

SSL are delighted to formally handover the reconstructed external sports facilities at Withington Girls’ School.

The project involved reconstruction of the school’s synthetic pitch which has also been performance tested as part of the FIH Quality Programme for Hockey Facilities. As part of the design, SSL incorporated customised team shelters and school logo’s within the synthetic pitch surrounds. This has created a bespoke facility that has immediately impressed both school staff and pupils alike.

Customised team shelters

The independent school, based in Manchester, selected SSL as project consultant to provide independent advice on options to refurbish the 20 year old synthetic turf pitch and upgrade the tarmac tennis courts. SSL’s consultants carried out feasibility work and provided outline cost options, all supported by extensive survey work of the old synthetic pitch.

Having provided an evaluation to the school on the different options available, SSL then developed a detailed schedule of works before administering a formal tender process on the school’s behalf.

After a final survey of the works, one of several carried out by SSL throughout the project, SSL confirmed that practical completion had been achieved and the facilities could be handed over to the school to put into use.

The project marks another successful sports facility project delivered by SSL within the UK independent school sector.

SSL Achieve Quality Accreditation

SSL are delighted to have achieved a prestigious quality accreditation

ISO 9001:2015 is an internationally recognised benchmark that specifies requirements for an effective quality management system within an organisation. 

Following an independent assessment, our range of consultancy services consistently exceeded both client and statutory requirements and this accreditation provides recognition of this fact.

At SSL we regularly receive excellent feedback from our clients. To achieve this positive feedback, and continue to ensure the service we provide rises above client expectation, involves a great deal of work from the SSL team.

The ISO 9001:2015 accreditation is a reflection of the excellent quality procedures in place at SSL.

Striking Night-time Images of SSL Facility

Maximising community usage is a key consideration for the majority of 3G pitch installations. And these striking night-time images of the Madeley Ski Centre facility in Telford show just what can be achieved.

It’s now over 9 months since construction was completed on the SSL designed facility that meets both FIFA Quality & FIH Multi-Sport performance standards. The state-of-the-art floodlighting system incorporates the latest LED technology. As these images illustrate, light spillage is carefully controlled to keep light pollution over surrounding areas to a bare minimum. This has ensured that the facility, despite being in a rural setting, can be used outside daylight hours.

The project represents another carefully designed SSL synthetic pitch project that is now benefiting hundreds of community users and has been used for training purposes by AFC Telford United FC.

If you have a project requiring feasibility work and specialist sports pitch design input, contact us to discuss how our experienced team can assist.

Images courtesy of Musco Lighting.

Hockey Club Delighted with SSL Consultancy

SSL were pleased to be chosen as specialist sports pitch consultant by Chelmsford Hockey Club and Chelmsford City Council, for a joint project to resurface two synthetic hockey pitches.

Chelmsford Hockey Club boast 16 senior sides and the support provided by SSL throughout the project was vital. As Club President Spencer Wilcox explains; “From a hockey perspective, we’re delighted with both pitches. They play consistently well and have drawn favourable comments not just from members, but also visiting sides. Our pitch is used by juniors aged 5 right up to vets in their 70s so it is genuinely supporting hockey across the generations!…We’re also hosting the O40s regional finals for the second time in June – and hope to get the same favourable comments from the guys (some of whom are ex-internationals) as we got last year. Our pitch is also used by Essex HA for junior and development coaching. As for SSL, we and the council wouldn’t have wanted to enter into this joint project without the support of a consultancy firm – and SSL did an excellent job for us at a sensible cost. So many thanks for that!”

Having been engaged to carry out a condition survey on both facilities, SSL first provided outline costings for different possible design solutions before preparing a construction specification to enable a competitive formal tender process to take place.

Several tenders were received by contractors bidding to secure the contract. SSL completed a detailed commercial analysis of each bid to ensure like for like comparison before assessing each bid against quality criteria.

When works commenced onsite, SSL were on hand to complete a schedule of key stage inspections and also ensure material samples were collected and laboratory tested to confirm compliance with the specification.

With the performance of the shockpad layer being so critical to hockey performance, SSL ensured the existing shockpad layers to both pitches were thoroughly tested as part of the project.

The double pitch resurface provides another important hockey pitch project completed by SSL. And we’re pleased to once again receive such positive feedback from a UK hockey club!

SSL Committed to UK Sport Development

Surfacing Standards are pleased to be backing UK Sport development having recently provided sponsorship to the Sheffield team competing at the British Diving Championships 2019.

Hosted at the Royal Commonwealth Pool in Edinburgh, the event is the most prestigious domestic diving event in Great Britain, with GB’s top divers competing for British titles.

Steve Wilcockson, Managing Director of SSL has a longstanding interest in the sport having previously reached the final of the Armed Forces Diving Championships. As Steve explains “My interest in diving started from the age of 14. That interest continued as I got older, even giving up my time to work as a volunteer at the Aquatics Diving Arena at Ponds Forge, Sheffield during the World Student Games.”

Nikki Smith of Sheffield Diving Club commented “Sheffield Diving had a team of 15 divers competing at the competition, comprising of both junior and senior athletes. We are very grateful to receive the support of Surfacing Standards, it’s fantastic that a major sports facility consultant in the UK is putting something back into UK elite sport. Athletes face many challenges and it’s brilliant to see Surfacing Standards commitment to encouraging and supporting young people.”

The British Diving Championships is often used as a selection meet for the Great Britain senior team. This year the event is the selection competition for several International events including the 2019 World Diving Championships.

As an established sports facility consultant, Surfacing Standards are keen to help support British sport and wish Sheffield Diving every success in the future.