Speedcut gives Essex college sports facilities a boost at Southend-on-Sea

Mike Beardallin Industry News

Speedcut at work on the new pitches at Futures College in AugustSpeedcut Contractors have completed a major project at Futures Community College, Essex, during which they built two new football pitches, a cricket square and three artificial cricket wickets with nets.

Futures College, at Southend-on-Sea, is undergoing massive development having just opened a state-of-the-art building.

Sports facilities are an important part of the college, which has a reputation for excellence, backed-up by a recent very good Ofsted report. Futures College has joined with Prospect College to increase opportunities for more than 700 students aged from 11 to 22.

Speedcut Contractors worked with sportsturf consultant Gordon Jaaback and and project manager David Burridge, of the HBW Partnership.

They built the two natural turf football pitches which involved removing the existing topsoil, adjusting the levels and laser-grading the subsoil before replacing the topsoil.

The Speedcut built new cricket square at Futures College in November The Speedcut pitches at Futures College in October

A comprehensive primary drainage system was then installed which will be overlaid with secondary drainage following satisfactory grass establishment.

The prepared surface was laser-graded, stone-picked and fine-graded before applying fertiliser and drilling with a ryegrass seed mix.

Futures College Martin O\'Brien, property manager, on the Speedcut built pitchesSpeedcut also built a natural turf cricket square over a gravel carpet with a blinding layer of indigenous loam sub-soil.

Finally 100mm of approved cricket Essex loam was applied before laser-grading, fertilising and seeding with a BAR Extreme ryegrass mixture.

Adjacent to the cricket square Speedcut built an artificial cricket wicket using a Verdegrass surface over a stone base covered with a shockpad. They also built three artificial practice wickets with nets.

Premises manager Martin O'Brien, who was head groundsman for 13 years and has been in his current role for the last four, said: "Speedcut did a brilliant job and the grass cover has been really rapid with the recent rains.

"The sports facilities at Futures Community College are outstanding with hockey and rugby being played as well as football and cricket."

David Burridge, of the HBW Partnership, the project manager, said: "The project from design to delivery was carried out with great professionalism by both Gordon Jaaback and Speedcut Contractors.

"The work was carried out to an extremely high standard with the utmost efficiency and minimal disruption to the neighbours around the site.

"We've had an excellent working relationship with Speedcut and their continued attention to detail and maintenance is most impressive."

Speedcut contracts manager Kevin Smith said: "We were delighted to work with Gordon and David. The final results are looking excellent and, despite working within a short contract period, we completed the project in time for the start of the new school term."

Details: Speedcut Contractors on 01865 331479

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