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!

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.”

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.

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 exhibiting at ISBA Conference 2019!

We are delighted to confirm that SSL will be exhibiting at the ISBA Conference 2019.

The ISBA (Independent Schools’ Bursars Association) includes more than 960 independent school members and offers a range of services to bursars and senior management staff on all types of school matters.

As independent sports pitch consultants with substantial experience in the independent school sector, SSL provide design and project management services for ISBA members throughout the UK.

The conference takes place at the Manchester Central Convention Complex on Tuesday 21st and Wednesday 22nd May. If you are attending the Conference and have a potential sports facility project you would like advice on, feel free to visit stand Number 100 to meet SSL’s experienced team.  

SSL provide key input to £200m Parklife programme

Jeffrey Humble Playing Fields  (image courtesy of Liverpool Council)

Just over two years since SSL produced various design options as part of a detailed Feasibility Study into this Liverpool Parklife project, the end result looks fantastic!

The scheme at Jeffrey Humble Playing Fields includes three floodlit 3G pitches, changing rooms, a gym and associated car parking. The development will be the home for the Walton and Kirkdale Junior Football League which boasts 38 teams.

It forms part of a £200 million programme to build multi-pitch Parklife hubs across the country and involves a partnership between the FA, the Premier League, local councils and local leagues, Sport England, the Government and the Football Foundation. 

At SSL we pride ourselves on attention to detail and providing a balanced approach to assessing the viability of different development sites. Being an independent consultant with extensive knowledge of sports facility development, SSL are delighted to have been involved in the Liverpool Parklife project, along with many other Parklife schemes across the country.

To hear more about the new facilities, including comments from the Mayor of Liverpool and Chief Executive of Liverpool City Council, please view the below article courtesy of the Liverpool Echo.  www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/liverpool-news/liverpools-new-state-art-football-15239646

The Football Foundation, the country’s largest sports charity, are responsible for the delivery of the Parklife programme. For further information about Parklife  please visit www.footballfoundation.org.uk.

SSL deliver stunning facilities for The Manchester Grammar School

SSL are pleased to hand over an impressive new hockey pitch and tennis courts to one of the leading independent schools in the UK!

SSL were appointed by the School to carry out an initial Feasibility Study and outline design. SSL’s experienced team were able to provide expert advice prior to submitting a detailed planning application to Manchester City Council. Following approval, SSL provided a contract specification document accompanied by design drawings as produced by SSL’s in-house CAD design team. This enabled the project to be formally tendered to several specialist contractors.

A careful tender analysis process, based on both price and quality criteria, was carried out by SSL and a report provided to the School.

Following contract award, SSL managed the construction stage on behalf of the school, chairing progress meetings with the contractor Greenfields UK as well as carrying out key stage quality control inspections to provide independent verification that the works were being built to the required high quality standards.

And the end result looks impressive! Facilities include a new floodlit waterbased synthetic hockey pitch, synthetic turf tennis courts and tarmac MUGA/overspill car park. SSL are sure the new development will only serve to enhance the top-class reputation of one of the UK’s leading educational establishments!

A short video illustrating the new facility can be viewed below….

Quality Pitch for Coventry University

SSL were delighted to be selected by Coventry University to assist with the resurface of the synthetic turf hockey pitch at their Westwood Heath site. The pitch has recently been awarded FIH National certification confirming that the facility has been resurfaced to the highest standard.

Having been employed in the early stages of the project to provide the University with independent design advice and guidance, SSL’s experienced staff were on hand to provide quality assurance via a series of key stage surveys.

SSL have provided a high quality service to a number of Universities and higher educational institutions in recent years, with this project marking the most recent impressive example.

Ryan Giggs impressed with SSL designed pitch

It’s always good to receive positive feedback. But when the person giving feedback is a 13-time Premier League winner and current Welsh National Team Manager, that’s even better!

SSL were delighted to play a key role in the 3G resurface of the synthetic pitch at Plas Arthur Leisure Centre on the Isle of Anglesey.The new facility was officially opened by Welsh National Team Manager Ryan Giggs, and assistant Osian Roberts. Speaking at the opening, Giggs commented;

“It’s a great facility…I only wish I had this sort of surface whilst I was playing”.

Images kindly provided by Anglesey County Council

As specialist sports pitch consultants, SSL were employed by facility development experts Alliance Leisure to prepare a detailed construction specification and design drawings. This was issued to specialist contractors to price against, with Dura-Sport Ltd securing the contract. When the works progressed onsite, SSL’s experienced team carried out quality control inspections to provide reassurance that the expected high quality construction standards were being achieved.

The opening of the pitch was marked by a tournament featuring pupils from the island’s five high schools. SSL are pleased to have played an important part in delivering what is the first full size 3G pitch on the Isle of Anglesey, a major investment by Isle of Anglesey County Council.

The FAW Trust play a key role in growing football participation and a video of the 3G pitch opening can be viewed via their website;

http://www.fawtrust.cymru/get-inspired/news/wales-manager-ryan-giggs-opens-angleseys-first-3g-pitch/