SSL are Hiring!

Due to continued growth, Surfacing Standards Limited (SSL) are looking to recruit a CAD Designer/ Trainee Surveyor to join our successful team.

Company overview:

SSL are UK based independent sports pitch consultants providing a full package of design & project management services including feasibility studies, facility design, planning, project management and construction quality control. Since being established over 17 years ago, SSL have been instrumental in the development of hundreds of sports facilities across the UK including synthetic pitches, athletics tracks, tennis courts and MUGAs.

The opportunity:

Technical experience of CAD work, an understanding of basic site survey information and a full UK driving licence is essential.

You will be working closely with our experienced team of consultants and professionally represent SSL during site visits and meeting client representatives. SSL work with a variety of customers at any given time including local authorities, schools, Universities, sports clubs, and sports pitch contractors.

You will also be working alongside colleagues to help deliver large scale, high profile sports pitch projects throughout the UK. With training and experience there will be the opportunity to perform consultancy services encompassing all aspects of the design, development, specification and delivery of synthetic turf pitch projects. Our experienced team will always on hand to offer expert advice and support throughout.

You will be office based and required to drive to various site locations for site inspections, condition surveys of existing facilities and complete topographical surveys of areas identified for new developments.

The person:

You must be friendly and professional, trusted by clients and your colleagues, and driven to succeed.  A knowledge of, or interest in, synthetic sports pitch construction would be beneficial, although not a necessity. A high level of communication skills will be required together with the ability to build strong, long term relationships across a wide variety of client types. You should be able to manage your time effectively and keep up with the demands of the role which may very occasionally involve an overnight stay.

AutoCAD knowledge will be required for this role, together with general I.T skills in Microsoft Outlook, Word and Excel.

The package:

Competitive salary (subject to knowledge/experience). Company car allowance, pension scheme, up to 25 days annual leave.

How to apply:

To apply for the position please email your up-to-date CV with a covering letter to SSL Managing Director Steve Wilcockson (steve@surfacingstandards.co.uk). Address the title of the email “Job Application – CAD Designer/Trainee Surveyor.”

SSL are an Equal Opportunities Employer.

Cruyff Court Transforms London Space

At SSL we take pride in efficient use of space and developing facilities that will have real impact in the community. The development of this Cruyff Court in Brentford, West London is testament to what can be achieved.

Back in 2019 we first visited the site which at the time was a unforgiving area of tarmacadam. The area was used as a sports/recreational facility but the surface was suffering from undulations.

Working on behalf of the local council, the London Borough of Hounslow, SSL surveyed the site before putting together a feasibility report outlining options to transform the site.

Development of a detailed contract specification document and SSL design drawings followed. Once a contractor was appointed and onsite, SSL completed key stage quality control checks to provide independent reassurance to the Council that the works were being carried out to the required high standards, and in full compliance with the contract specification.

The project represents the latest facility to be supported by the Johan Cruyff Foundation. The organisation’s key vision is to to ensure children are provided with the space to take part in sports and be active. There are now over 200 Cruyff Courts worldwide providing facilities that are used by 65,000 children on a weekly basis.

At SSL we are delighted to be the sports facility consultant selected to develop the latest Cruyff Court in the UK, one which is sure to have a positive impact.

The end result
Area before development

SSL ‘Exactly the Company Needed’ for Pitch Resurface

At SSL we have extensive experience when it comes to synthetic pitch resurface projects. And we were delighted with the feedback received following our role overseeing the resurface of the synthetic pitch at Lodge Park Sports Centre in Corby.

SSL were appointed by Corby Borough Council to provide consultancy services relating to the resurface of one of their key leisure community assets.

As Kevin Williams, Sports Centre Leisure Manager, explains; “I was looking for a company to assist as I had no prior knowledge of what needed doing or how to put a specification together for such a project. It soon turned out that SSL were exactly the company that I needed.”

“Apart from undertaking the project during Covid-19 and all the issues that it brought, I think it’s a testament to SSL that there were no specific issues that weren’t resolved very quickly. The service meant that the project was very easy to handle from my perspective”.

“It was soon very easy to see the level of understanding that you have of your business and the needs of the client. SSL have a reputation that makes a client feel at ease and confident that you will deliver a high standard of service…which you did. Many thanks to Nick and all those involved at SSL”.

Following a detailed review of the old pitch by an experienced SSL Surveyor, we provided the council with a detailed survey report before advising on options for refurbishment and budget cost projections. After a design was agreed, SSL developed a contract specification that the council could issue to tender. Our pitch specific knowledge was vital in assisting with the analysis of contractor tender bids. We were also able to provide reassurance to the council during the works onsite as an SSL Surveyor was assigned to complete quality control inspections to sign off each key stage.

With SSL appointed by numerous other local authorities, schools, universities and sports clubs, we look forward to continuing to work hard to deliver high standard synthetic pitch resurface projects over the coming months.

Funding Grants Available for The Return of Grass Roots

With the eagerly awaited safe return of grass roots sport scheduled for the end of this month, we’re looking forward to seeing hundreds of facilities delivered by SSL back in use and benefitting local communities once again.

And in the run-up to this, three funding streams have been released to help the football community get the game back up and running. The funding is part of the ‘Game On’ initiative which is a collaboration between the FA, the Premier League, the Government and Sport England.

Community football clubs are urged to come forward and apply for grant funding via the Football Foundation. Details of the three funding opportunities can be found via www.footballfoundation.org.uk/game-on.

SSL Donate to a Community Cause

Reinvesting in the local community has surely never been more important. And when we heard about the social value policy adopted by Salford City Council we were delighted to play our part.

Last year we were selected as project consultants to oversee the successful refurbishment of over 10,000m2 of 3G pitches at Salford Sports Village.

And earlier this month we were delighted to return to Salford to make a donation to the Yogurt Pots Nursery, based on the same site. 

On receiving the donation Childcare Manager Nadine Murray commented; “Thank you so much for this lovely donation,  it really has made our Friday! We will put the donation towards some outside sports equipment for our after school club children”.  

SSL at the Forefront of Non-League 3G Stadia Pitches

SSL were proud to be engaged by Sevenoaks Town FC of the Isthmian League to oversee the design, planning and delivery of their 3G stadia pitch.

As independent synthetic pitch consultants, SSL have extensive experience of non-league stadia conversions. We are able to guide football clubs and their committees through the numerous key stages that need to be considered when converting a natural turf stadia pitch to 3G. 

In recent years, many non-league football clubs in the UK have opted to convert to 3G in order to adopt a more sustainable model, and to protect their long term future.

A high quality 3G synthetic turf, when correctly installed and appropriately maintained, can certainly provide for a more intensively used facility. This in turn allows that facility to be opened up to benefit the local community.

As most non-league stadiums already have associated infrastructure in place (car park, changing rooms, welfare facilities, clubhouse/bar, floodlighting etc), the addition of a 3G pitch can help to club become the focus of the community.

Hear about Sevenoak Town’s experiences by viewing the video…..

Grammar School see SSL guidance as ‘invaluable’

SSL were pleased to provide consultancy services to help deliver a new football and rugby compliant 3G pitch for Simon Langton Grammar School for Boys in Canterbury.

Established in 1881, the school (also simply known as ‘The Langton’) is a foundation grammar school for boys and mixed sixth form catering for 11 to 18 year olds.

As well as providing design services, the SSL team were also on hand to carry out quality control checks at each key stage of the pitch build, providing sectional sign offs to give the school and project funders reassurance that the build was to specification and to a high quality.

And we are delighted to receive positive feedback from Darren Watson, Deputy Headteacher;

“Surfacing Standards were the consultants I used to help build our 3G pitch.  Their help, guidance and vision was invaluable and helped me realise exactly what was in my head; in fact, the finished pitch was better than I imagined.  They helped design the build, monitored progress and advised what was possible.  Personally, I would not take on a project like this without consulting a company like Surfacing Standards. I cannot recommend the (SSL) team highly enough.” 

Basingstoke Hockey Club Praise Excellent SSL service

With extensive experience designing and delivering hockey pitches, SSL were appointed by Basingstoke & Deane Borough Council as their project consultants for a new floodlit sand dressed pitch at Down Grange Sports Complex.

A new hockey pitch is a major investment. There are very few club-owned hockey pitches in the UK and as part of the project development process, SSL believe it’s important to have a consultation process with the hockey club/clubs who will be using the facility.

And we are thrilled to receive glowing feedback from Basingstoke HC President Miranda Smith who commented;

“The service provided by SSL was excellent. As end users, we were delighted that SSL met with us to discuss all aspects of the build to ensure it met requirements of the hockey club. If any questions arose or any slight alterations requested, SSL were happy to talk through the technical aspects of what would work best. I was given a copy of the SSL’s technical specification which was excellent and really useful when answering the many questions from club members. I would definitely recommend SSL to anyone considering a hockey pitch project.”

The experienced SSL team worked with both the council and Hockey Club to develop a new facility that met their requirements, and ensured International Hockey Federation design guidance was considered throughout. SSL produced a contract specification and a tender process was carried out with numerous approved contractors submitting formal bids.

Using our extensive in-house expertise in planning application requirements, the SSL team worked to discharge all planning conditions to ensure the project could commence onsite.

The SSL team were then on hand to oversee the build process, finalising the formal contract documentation between council and contractor, chairing progress meetings and carrying out quality control checks at each key stage. Prior to handover SSL completed a comprehensive snagging survey before issuing project sign off.

We’re delighted the knowledge and experience of the SSL team was able to benefit both the council as client, but also the hockey club as key end user.

SSL Invest in Design Capabilities

At SSL we strongly believe that we provide the very best independent facility designs in the industry. Our design processes encapsulate every aspect of a facility including earthworks, drainage, base design, surface system design, perimeter fencing, floodlighting and all associated peripherals such as sports equipment, facility access and maintenance considerations.

And as part of our commitment to delivering the very best service, SSL recently invested in state-of-the-art drainage design and modelling software. The new software enables a proposed drainage system to be hydraulically analysed which ensures that the proposed drainage system, whether SuDS or a combination of traditional and SuDS, achieves the necessary design parameters.

The software can be used in conjunction with SSL’s existing volumetrics system, used widely by civil engineers for earthworks calculations.

SSL’s Managing Director Steve Wilcockson commented; “We recognise that our design solutions must provide value for money and the investment we have made will ensure we have greater control of the design process. Having this capability in-house will ensure that SSL are extremely efficient in being able to make adjustments to the earthworks and/or drainage system design. The SSL team submit a large number of planning applications each year and ensuring we are able to demonstrate an effective well designed drainage system is often a key requirement with planners.”

The new software will ensure that SSL continue to deliver considerate and well planned sports facilities to the very highest quality.

Hockey for Heroes Partnership Announcement

SSL are delighted to announce an exciting partnership with Hockey for Heroes.

Hockey for Heroes raise vital funds for Help for Heroes, a charity providing support for men and women that leave the Armed Forces as a result of physical or psychological wounds.

SSL Managing Director Steve Wilcockson explains, “The Hockey for Heroes team work tirelessly to raise funds to help wounded veterans to get on with their lives. As a former member of the armed forces I can appreciate what an incredibly important role they provide, not only for ex-military personnel, but also for their families and friends. At SSL we have strong links within hockey with approximately 1 in 10 of the hockey pitches in England certified by the FIH having benefitted from our independent consultancy services. The hockey club network needs access to better quality facilities and we look forward to providing our support to the Hockey for Heroes community”

Hockey for Heroes have been active since 2012 and use the sport of hockey to drive their fundraising. Joel Forrester, Managing Director commented “Hockey For Heroes are honoured to be officially partnering with Surfacing Standards, who are market leads in consultancy related synthetic pitch projects across the United Kingdom. We have experienced first hand the work of Surfacing Standards and have spoken with many of their clients. The feedback has always been exquisite, therefore It is our pleasure to support the Hockey community, by promoting the work of Surfacing Standards Ltd and introducing friends where possible.”

SSL specialise in synthetic turf pitches and provide a range of consultancy services from pitch advice & survey works, design drawings, planning applications, project specification and overall project management. As a fully independent consultant, SSL work to International Hockey Federation (FIH) requirements. In addition to new build facilities, SSL have extensive knowledge of pitch resurfacing – our acclaimed Pitch Condition Survey service has provided a vital resource for a large number of clubs/facility operators helping to plan and develop pitch refurbishment projects.

To learn more about Hockey for Heroes and hear the various ways that you can get involved and provide support, visit https://hockeyforheroes.co.uk/