The £2m contract saw Cleveland Land Services (CLS) install two state-of-the-art natural turf pitches and a FIFA-accredited 3G synthetic pitch as part of the £5m Colliers Park National Football Development Centre.
Located on the site of Gresford Colliery near Wrexham, north Wales, the new high-class training facilities at Colliers Park will serve all of the Football Association of Wales’s (FAW) high performance squads. Funded in partnership by FAW and Wrexham Glyndwr University, the facility will also benefit university students and provide a range of community benefits.
The partnership between the FAW and Wrexham Glyndwr University is part of the university’s £60m Campus 2025 strategy, which aims to provide the best possible facilities and environment for its students.
CLS delivered two high-quality natural grass pitches for the centre.
Pitch 1 is a Fibresand-reinforced surface and will host the Welsh men’s national team training. The construction involved an earthworks operation, before a central crown drainage system was installed. A gravel carpet was then laid below a medium-fine sand layer and a rootzone layer with 0.8 per cent polypropylene fibres.
Pitch 2, which lies end to end with Pitch 1, has a 1:100 gradient along the line of play and features a gravel blanket, a layer of medium fine sand and a topsoil layer. Sand slit drains were then installed to allow surface water to drain into the underlying gravel layer.
A fully automated irrigation system was also installed to both natural turf pitches.
Alongside the two natural turf pitches is the 3G pitch, featuring a FIFA-accredited Lano MSXi TLT50 surface.
A sustainable, 120m3 gravel soak-away was installed outside the impermeable layer of colliery waste lying beneath the surface of most of the site. With the capacity to cope with even a “once-in-a-century” storm, the system ensures the site is prepared for every eventuality.
The project also included the installation of two grandstands – one with a capacity of 150 seats and the other with 75 seats – three bespoke camera gantries, perimeter pathways, soft landscaping and a maintenance yard complete with recycling wash bay.
The reception to the new facility has been great.
“The FAW was founded in Wrexham in 1876 and it is fantastic to see the new National Football development centre based in an area of Wales with an important and rich football history and to celebrate this with our project partners here today,” said FAW CEO Jonathan Ford.
“Colliers Park will help us raise the standards of Welsh football and strengthen our player pathway, coaching, workforce and development opportunities.”
CLS Sports Managing Director John Miller added: “Colliers Park showcases our construction team’s ability to deliver across both natural and synthetic pitch installations to world class standards.”
Maria Hinfelaar, vice-chancellor of Wrexham Glyndwr University, said: “Colliers Park is part of our Campus 2025 strategy to significant invest in all areas of our campuses and facilities, putting students at the heart of everything we do and contributing to our local community.”