Smith Construction designed and constructed the facilities at the hub, which houses three 3G pitches, three natural turf pitches and a wide range of supporting infrastructure.
Smith Construction secured a contract to transform the Monks Brook Playing Fields venue in Hampshire into a new sporting complex in 2018. The brief was to create one of the largest football hubs in the country, with three FIFA-accredited synthetic 3G pitches, three natural turf playing pitches and a large, 350-space car park. Other facilities on site included a pavilion, club facilities, café and educational spaces.
The ambitious project – called Stoneham Lane Football Complex – received significant funding from the Football Foundation, Sport England, the Premier League and Eastleigh Borough Council.
The landmark development is part of The FA’s Parklife project and Smith Construction acted as principal contractor for the development – with full responsibility for the management of all site health, safety and welfare. The site was registered with the Considerate Contractor Scheme.
The project was completed in 2019 and included extensive earthworks on an undulating and overgrown site. It involved ground stabilisation to improve the soils and ground strength in the areas for the 3G pitches and incorporated a bridging design at the site entrance to overcome major gas and water mains.
Carrying out all of the site infrastructures in-house, Smith Construction undertook extensive sustainable drainage and civil engineering works, building foundations and a land drainage system. The company also created an estate access road and car park with enough space for 383 cars and two coaches.
The main stadia pitch at the hub has a tiered spectator stand with a capacity for 200 fans. All of the 3G football turf pitches on site boast a Limonta Duo Shape 3G football turf surface.
Smith Construction worked closely with the environment agency and contractors to obtain BREEAM certification for the complex.
The facility is operated by Hampshire Football Association and is proving to be a game-changer for the region’s grassroots football – providing opportunities for more players than originally planned. The complex was expected to attract around 10,000 regular users – but already, 20,000 users are registered to play and use the facilities. Since its launch, the site has attracted around 15,000 visitors per week.
The hub has played host to more than 1,000 games since its opening. What’s more, 400 competitive games were played during the start of the 2019-2020 season which otherwise would have been cancelled due to poor pitch conditions elsewhere.
Ken Smith, Smith Construction’s Managing Director, said “It has been a pleasure to work with the FA, Football Foundation and Eastleigh Borough Council on this FA Parklife Hub. It’s a superb new venue for players and spectators to enjoy.”