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.

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

SSL Continue to Provide the Highest Standards

ISO 9001 is the internationally recognized standard for Quality Management Systems. It is the most widely used Quality Management System standard in the world.

Auditors have recently reviewed SSL’s management procedures and have confirmed that we continue to achieve ISO 9001 standards across all areas of the company. This is independent verification that SSL continue to consistently provide products and services that meet customer and regulatory requirements.

At SSL we are confident that our service offering always meets the very highest standards. To ensure we maintain our position as industry leading sports facility consultants we are constantly striving to improve our service offering. So the recent audit is something we value and take very seriously.

The audit found zero areas of ‘major’ non-compliance and zero areas of ‘minor’ non-compliance. We received positive comments against 12 aspects of our management system including operational planning, support services, service provision, design/development and document control.

We are delighted with the recognition and look forward to providing a high quality service to existing and future SSL clients.

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.

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…..