Supporting the Development of North Colchester with Stunning Sports Pitches

As part of Colchester Borough Council’s extensive redevelopment plans for North Colchester, S&C Slatter were entrusted to deliver outdoor sports pitch construction for the new Northern Gateway Sports Park, which involved the relocation a variety of sports clubs to the new multi-sports site.

Utilising our cross-group expertise and experience in sports club relocation, S&C Slatter designed and constructed a total of 9 artificial and natural turf pitches suitable for grassroots and elite sport.

Key Achievements

  • Design and construction for all outdoor sports pitches at the new Colchester Northern Gateway Sports Park.
  • 1x World Rugby Regulation 22 certified full-sized 3G pitch for rugby
  • 1x full-sized 3G pitch for rugby and football
  • 4x full-sized natural turf rugby pitches
  • 3x full-sized natural turf pitches for rugby and football

The Challenge

With a desire to develop the North of Colchester, Colchester Borough Council envisioned a place ‘where local people and visitors alike can live, relax and shape healthy, active lifestyles for themselves and their families’.

The council developed a housing development plan to draw people to the area, which, as well as the construction of new homes, outlined the creation of new spaces for business, recreation, and sport, known as the Northern Gateway Colchester.

Managed by Colchester Amphora Trading Ltd (CATL), the council’s commercial trading company, the multi-phase development included plans for a new 76-acre sports and leisure facility, The Northern Gateway Sports Park, with R G Carter appointed as main contractors for the flagship project.

The major project required the relocation of existing sports clubs to the new, central, multi-sports park, meaning that facilities had to be to the standards required by several sports governing bodies.

With this commitment to providing clubs, residents, and visitors to the area with extensive, top-quality sports facilities, CATL sought experienced sports construction specialists to deliver the design and construction of new sports pitches at the new sports hub.

The Solution

With comprehensive in-house expertise and three decades of experience, S&C Slatter were commissioned to work with the project team to design the natural and artificial turf pitches at the early stages of RIBA.

“Given S&C Slatter’s 30+ years’ experience in constructing sports pitches, it made sense to bring on-board a highly qualified firm to deliver a project of this nature.”

– Jack Conington, Colchester Amphora Trading Ltd

Our dedicated design and planning division developed the design for the two artificial and seven natural turf pitches on site. With the new facility set to be home to several local clubs, including Colchester RFC and Eastern Rhinos, our team brought their sports club relocation expertise to the project, with recent relocations including Ringmer AFC and Wimborne Town FC. The team worked closely with our artificial turf partners FieldTurf and relevant sporting bodies to ensure that each pitch would be constructed to the standard and specifications required.

“As the sports hub caters for various sports within the borough It was important to ensure that all the statutory requirements were met by their governing bodies. S&C Slatter ensured that the relevant bodies were consulted to ensure these requirements were met.”

– Jack Conington, Colchester Amphora Trading Ltd

Utilising our cross-group expertise, our experienced construction teams commenced work on the 2x full-sized 3G artificial turf pitches, with group partners White Horse Contractors bringing their 60+ years’ experience to the project, with the construction of the park’s 7 natural turf pitches.

The Result

Using our substantial heritage in sports construction, S&C Slatter successfully delivered the design and construction of all of the new sports park’s outdoor sports pitches, providing one point of contact from concept through to completion by utilising our cross-group expertise.

Working in conjunction with our sister company White Horse Contractors, we were thrilled to handover 9x first-class new sports pitches to main contractors R G Carter earlier this year, ahead of the new stunning sports hub’s official opening in April 2021.

When asked why Colchester Borough Council chose to work with S&C Slatter, Jack Conington commented:

“S&C Slatter have worked with various clients (private and public sector) all around the UK, which meant their experience would very much help Colchester Borough Council deliver a state-of-the-art sports facility.”

The sports park’s two 3G artificial turf pitches were constructed with cutting-edge artificial turf systems from our exclusive partners FieldTurf, who are World Rugby Preferred Turf Producers. One pitch, situated outside the new home of Colchester RFC, is a full-sized 3G pitch for rugby, constructed and tested to World Rugby Regulation 22 performance standard.

The second 3G pitch features multiple line markings to enable the play of both full-sized and small-sided rugby and football, enabling maximum pitch hire revenue opportunity for Colchester and maximum enjoyment for the local community – such as through their 6 a side partnership with Leisure Leagues.

The seven natural turf pitches include four pitches suitable for rugby match play, with an additional three pitches for leisure and training. With the opening of the new sports park delayed due to Coronavirus restrictions, the pitches were expertly cared for by White Horse Contractor’s experienced maintenance teams up until handover.

Overall, the £29m, 76-acre facility features a dedicated indoor multi-sports centre, 1-mile floodlit cycling track, new rugby club for Colchester RFC, archery range, new green open spaces and of course the two all-weather 3G pitches and seven additional natural turf pitches delivered by S&C Slatter.

There’s no doubt the state-of-the-art Colchester Northern Gateway Sports Park delivers on Colchester Borough Council’s goals to provide a highly inclusive fitness destination for the local community and wider region.

By working with our highly experienced teams on the design and delivery of their new sports pitches, Colchester Borough Council have ensured that residents have ample opportunity to improve their health and wellbeing, while both elite and grassroots sports have a platform to the thrive on, with their World Rugby certified facilities.

Project overview


S&C Slatter Ltd

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Project type
Outdoor Pitch Construction