Barenbrug Takes Man City's Roy Rigby on Fact-finding trip to Italian research site

Amy Ellinghamin Football

Roy Rigby Landlab visit.JPGBarenbrug UK's Jayne Leyland recently took Manchester City FC's grounds manager, Roy Rigby, on a fact-finding visit to Italy to give him an exclusive insight into the latest research and developments in grass seed solutions for the sports turf industry.

Jayne and Roy journeyed to Landlab in Quinto Vicentino near Vicenza, where the independent turfgrass research centre is exclusively working on grass synergy and bio-diversity systems with Royal Barenbrug Group. Here, the specialist grass seed breeder's latest cultivars and mixtures are being trialled in the region's climatic extremes of hot, dry summers and very cold winters.

With Manchester City FC determined to rise to the top of the Premier League and set the standard in UK football facilities, Roy and his team are charged with achieving the very best playing surfaces possible. As such, Roy is keen to use and trial cutting-edge seed solutions as a key part of his programme across the club's Eastlands stadium, Carrington training ground and Platt Lane academy sites.

And with Roy's expertise also in demand in the United Arab Emirates - where club owner Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan has asked him to advise on Abu Dhabi Football Club's pitches and his personal grounds - he found the Barenbrug trials being conducted at Landlab of particular interest and practical relevance.

Landlab's founding agronomist, Dr Adriano Altissimo, provided Roy with a fascinating insight into the work underway at the research centre, including cool season grasses water deficit restitution trials, warm/cool season grass stability trials and plant nutrition.

"The level of investment at Manchester City means I am in the unique and privileged position of being able to actively seek out the latest sports turf solutions to trial and use at our grounds," Roy reveals. "The Landlab visit was really useful - the water restitution and warm/cool season grasses trials will certainly benefit my work in Abu Dhabi. It's given me lots to think about in terms of uses back home too - first off, I plan to start an exciting trial with Jayne at one of our Manchester grounds next summer."

Jayne, Barenbrug UK's research and development manager, adds: "It was our pleasure to take Roy to Landlab and I'm delighted he found the visit so useful. Adriano and his team are conducting vital trials work on mixture synergy and grass bio-diversity systems that will benefit the UK turf industry as a whole in years to come. It's also terrific that we can work with partners like Manchester City to tailor our UK trials to UK playing demands and conditions in order to find valuable solutions for the future. We look forward to revealing the significant outcomes of our current research trials at Landlab very soon!"

To find out more about Barenbrug UK's products and services, call 01359 272000, email or visit

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