CLS Sports deliver high-end natural and 3G pitches

Greg Rhodesin Football

Leading sports contractor CLS Sports has completed its most prestigious project to date.

The Football Association of Wales (FAW) officially opened its £5m Colliers Park National Football Development Centre, near Wrexham, on 22 September, a date that commemorates the 85th anniversary of one of the world's worst coal mining disasters.

On that date in 1934, an explosion rocked the nearby Gresford mine, killing 236 colliers.

Working seamlessly to ensure the project was delivered on time and to budget, the CLS Sports natural and synthetic pitch construction teams have laid a full-size FIFA Quality accredited 3G facility alongside two full-size natural turf pitches with full underpitch drainage and sustainable soakaway.

Completing the £2m contract, CLS Sports supplied floodlighting, camera gantries, mini grandstands, pitch perimeter fencing, maintenance shed, hard and soft landscaping and pathways for the Park.

The Welsh national football squads will train on one of the natural grass pitches, along with youth sides - the second grass pitch being hired out to local league and weekend sides.

The 3G facility, intended for grassroots football training, has been laid on the site of an existing 3G installation at a former training ground.

Much of the stone supplied for the original pitch has been redeployed under its replacement and used in the paths that cross the Park.

CLS Sports employed many of its own specialist plant and machinery, available through its CLS Landscape and Earthworks and CLS Self Drive divisions, to contour the site and lay the pitches.

"Colliers Park showcases our construction team's ability to deliver across both natural and synthetic pitch installations to world class standards," said CLS Sports Director of Operations Brian Dunn.

Sports facility design specialists Geo Turf Consulting conceived the Colliers Park pitch design and layout, having completed a similar project for the FAW's headquarters at Dragon Park, Newport.

As project managers for the pitch development, Geo Turf oversaw the pitch construction programme, which began last June and was handed over in May (the pitches in March).

"We worked closely with CLS Sports throughout the development," said Geo Turf's Jonathan Smith. "They were easy to work with, efficient throughout the project and well resourced the work with people and plant."

CLS Sports Contracts Director Stephen Miller added: "We are proud of the facility we have created and it has been a pleasure to work for the Welsh FA alongside Geo Turf Consulting."

Lucy Scott, Facility Manager Operations Commercial and Strategic for Colliers Park, said: "The centre is attracting plenty of interest and represents a massive benefit for the region, the finest facility of its kind in North Wales. "Welsh players will aspire to come here because Colliers Park carries the wow factor locally, regionally and nationally. It will also function as a focus for the girls' and women's game."

Look out for a full feature on the facility in the October/November 2019 issue of Pitchcare