Leading sports surfacing specialist Notts Sport is celebrating the success of one of its largest synthetic sports pitch projects to provide one of North Wales' top colleges with a state-of-the-art, third-generation (3G) artificial grass pitch for football and rugby training.
Picture left before construction
The 3G pitch in Rhos-on-Sea, at the main campus of Coleg Llandrillo Cymru, North Wales' largest college, has already become a superb resource for students, the local community and Welsh sport in general.
Measuring 106m x 71m to comply with UEFA and FIFA competitive pitch dimensions, it can be used for full-scale matchplay, or divided into three seven-a-side pitches for tournaments and training, and includes brand new access arrangements, storage recesses and even spectator areas and technical areas for coaches and subs.
Notts Sport managed every step of the project with the college's consultants Atkins Global, including providing a bespoke specification for the synthetic pitch plus the associated floodlighting, fencing and an adjacent 60m x 40m natural turf rugby practice area.
The company, which provides full planning and design services at no upfront cost to clients, project-managed the entire works and re-modelling of the previously severely sloping site, with its approved independent installer Midland CSB Ltd carrying out the construction of the pitches and associated features following a fully comprehensive tender process
With the installation now complete, the college is still working with Notts Sport, which has provided a good level of customer service, as David Webb, Head of Sport Programmes explains.
"The pitch was installed on an existing, poorly drained grass pitch and has been transformed into a superb, state of the art facility that will benefit the college and local community," he said.
"The new FIFA 1* surface is excellent and we have received enthusiastic, positive feedback from users. Notts Sport has provided excellent guidance during the project design stage and installation, and now continues to offer support and advice to help us realise the full potential of this superb facility."
With 26 years of experience designing, advising on and supplying artificial surfacing systems for a range of activities, Notts Sport is an ideal project manager for the installation of new 3G pitches or even resurfacing existing facilities, with free condition surveys and performance testing of existing pitches just one of the innovative ways Notts Sport offers added value to customers.
The unique Notts Sport service proposal means that customers can benefit from the company's development and design expertise without incurring any upfront fees. This gives customers the best chance possible of securing planning and external consents, while safe in the knowledge that their synthetic sports pitch will be completed to the highest standards possible.
The opening of the 3G pitch at Coleg Llandrillo was acclaimed by Marc Roberts, Performance Programme Manager for the Welsh Rugby Union, a key backer of the college's newly established Academy programme, which will give rugby and football stars of the future an opportunity to maximise their potential to achieve both sporting and academic or vocational excellence.
And as well as being ideal for training, the 3G surface will host competitive football matches, with one of the major benefits of the surface meaning that matches can be played one after the other because of the durability and quality of the surface specification.
As the surface is artificial, in wet weather, the 3G pitch won't become waterlogged like the previous grass pitch, again illustrating the benefits of a correctly designed facility as it maximises the availability for training, matches and recreation.
As college spokesman Nick Hill puts it: "These artificial surfaces just keep getting better.
"The new 3G looks and plays like natural grass with similar playing characteristics: it is non-abrasive, and can be used with moulded or studded boots. Simply put, the ground provides a firmer grip and allows for better ball control. Pushing off, running, stopping or tackling are all possible without additional risk of injury."
Meanwhile, the pitch will benefit college students, as well as sporting and community groups through the area, which will be able to hire the facilities during evenings and weekends which was previously impossible due to the poor quality of the natural turf pitch the College had to use previously.