SSL turns vision into reality at Bowland High School

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Raising the standards for sports facility projects

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After a number of years spent planning to add a synthetic turf pitch to its facilities, Bowland High School turned to SAPCA member, Surfacing Standards Limited (SSL), to help turn its vision into reality.

Located in the picturesque Forest of Bowland, the school was previously unable to provide sufficient physical education (PE) for many weeks of the year due to the playing fields suffering from excessive ponding during wet weather. This was coupled with a large area of the school land being uneven and very steeply sloping, meaning it couldn’t be safely used for sports or physical activity.

SSL carried out a review of the overall site in order to identify possible locations and sizes of synthetic turf pitches that could be accommodated, together with providing advice on surface types and their associated usages. A design was produced taking into account a variety of considerations, not least the fact that the development had to be considerate to blend in with the surrounding Lancashire countryside.

A careful site levelling proposal, culvert diversion including new pathway bridge, wildflower planting, hedgerow restoration and other ecological enhancement measures all formed part of the SSL design which secured planning permission for the development.

The value of having the correct support team in place is certainly well appreciated by the school – as Operations Manager, Helen Dakin, explains: “The development of a synthetic pitch represents a significant investment and it was vital to have the best project team in place. With our school having no previous experience of developing this type of facility we appointed SSL, a specialist sports pitch consultant.

“SSL acted as project lead, with consultant John Bennett guiding the project from initial concept, through design, planning, procurement and project management of the construction phase itself. Being located within an AONB and on a site that suffered from significant drainage issues, the project was not without its hurdles to overcome. SSL provided a calm, concise and very experienced approach to navigating those issues.

“The end result is incredible, a huge asset to the school and users have commented on the high quality of our 3G pitch in comparison to others they have played on.

“SSL are clearly experts in the sports pitch industry and we cannot speak highly enough of the service we have received.”

The project represents another excellent collaboration of SAPCA members with SSL the overall project lead consultant and the playing surface supplied by Polytan.

The outcome is a stunning facility that is complimentary to its surrounds and one that will benefit the school and local community for years to come.