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Next generation: Catch up on all the latest news from the world of artificial turf

A look at the latest artificial turf installation news from across the UK

by Tom Walker, Leisure Media | Published in Sports Management 18 Apr 2016 issue 118
Read on turning pages | Download PDF of this issue

Venue: Sixways Stadium

Limonta Sport

Worcester Warriors will become the third Premiership Rugby club to lay an artificial pitch at its home ground ahead of the 2016-17 season. The new pitch will be laid at the Sixways Stadium between June and August in time for the start of the new Premiership season.

Produced by Italian firm Limonta Sport, the pitch is the first in the UK to feature an organic infill rather than rubber crumb. It will sit on top of a rugby-specific shock pad and will permit greater usage for elite squads, academy players and community rugby, as well as reducing maintenance costs.

“Our stadium pitch is the single most under-utilised asset in the club, currently being used fewer than 100 hours per season,” said Worcester CEO Jim O’Toole. “This development not only allows us to play more rugby at all levels, but also allows us to establish new commercial revenue streams.”

The grass pitch at Sixways will soon be replaced with a new artificial surface
The grass pitch at Sixways will soon be replaced with a new artificial surface

Venue: Colchester United community sports centre

Tiger Turf

League One club Colchester United has installed a new community pitch at its Shrub End sports ground. Working through its Football In The Community initiative – which provides high quality sporting provision for schools and groups around the town – the club commissioned supplier McArdle Sport Tec to install a FIFA-approved Soccer Real 60 XQ surface supplied by Tiger Turf UK.

The club is hoping to build on the 2,000 players who use the facility each week. As well as being used by the club’s academy, a community programme will see the pitch used for a range of wider sporting activities.

The FIFA-approved surface will benefit more than 2,000 players
The FIFA-approved surface will benefit more than 2,000 players

Venue: Peter May Sports Centre

SIS Pitches

England star Harry Kane has welcomed a new signing at his boyhood club – a new £578,000 3G pitch. The surface, installed at the Peter May Sports Centre in Walthamstow, North London, was supplied by SIS pitches and will accommodate a number of clubs, including Ridgeway Rovers with whom Kane started his career.

Football Foundation forecasts predict that over the next five years, the number of teams using the pitches will increase by 40 per cent from the current levels achieved using natural grass.

“I grew up learning my football trade in this part of the world,” said Kane. “So I know how much this new pitch will mean to the local community. This facility will inspire more people to get involved in sport and in doing so will create quality, home-grown talent and increase participation levels in football.”

The project was made possible thanks to a £368,696 grant from the Premier League and The FA Facilities Fund, the London Playing Fields Foundation (£135,000), with further funds coming from the London Marathon Charitable Trust (£75,000).

Spurs and England star Harry Kane attended the opening of the pitch at his old club
Spurs and England star Harry Kane attended the opening of the pitch at his old club

Venue: Holcombe Park hockey stadium

Notts Sport

One of UK’s leading hockey clubs, Holcombe HC in Kent, has a invested in a new artificial playing surface at its home stadium Holcombe Park. The club’s men and women’s teams play in the National Premier League – boasting 12 full international players – so the club is reliant on having a surface which caters for elite players, as well as grassroots games.

The new pitch was supplied by Notts Sport and, according to England and Team GB star Sam Quek, has already made a positive impact on the team’s performances. “The ball absolutely fizzes across the surface,” she said.

Holcombe HC boasts 12 full international players
Holcombe HC boasts 12 full international players

Venue: Priory Lane Stadium

S&C Slatter

National League South club Eastbourne Borough FC will become the latest club in the sixth tier of the English football pyramid to replace its grass pitch with an artificial one. S&C Slatter has been commissioned to design and build a new FIFA 2 Star 3G pitch – supplied by FieldTurf – at the club’s 4,200-capacity Priory Lane stadium.

Club chair, Paul Maynard, said, “This is one of the most significant developments in the club’s history and comes as we have signed a five-year user agreement with Soccersixes – the largest FA-affiliated provider of five and six-a-side leagues in the UK.”

Soccersixes will be operating leagues on at least four nights a week with all matches taking place on the new 3G football turf stadium pitch – providing a guaranteed income for the club.

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