Jan 23, 2019 Last Updated 4:59 PM, Jan 22, 2019

Notts Sport Fast Track Funding provides first-class pitch for school and community

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An exciting partnership between synthetic turf facility expert, Notts Sport, a Liverpool school and a local hockey club has provided a first-class hockey facility for the school and wider community.


The newly-resurfaced hockey pitch at St Edward’s College in Sandfield Park, Liverpool, is also the new home for West Derby Hockey Club, and was designed and delivered by synthetic turf facility expert, Notts Sport, under its innovative ‘Fast Track Funding’ initiative. The scheme is designed to help schools and local authorities achieve their ideal artificial sports facilities – without having to wait months or even years to secure finance.

Notts Sport, England Hockey’s official facilities partner, carried out a free condition survey of the school’s old pitch in March 2016. Following formal approval by college governors and auditors in July, the whole project took just seven weeks to complete. The newly-resurfaced pitch was handed over to the college in September 2016 and has transformed the facilities available for the use of students for PE and extra-curricular sports and activities, as well as providing a state-of-the-art home for the local hockey club.

John Bennett, Head of Multi-Sports at Notts Sport, was on board to offer project management, design and maintenance advice throughout. Karen Vitalis, Chief Financial Officer at St Edward’s College, says: “John was great: really helpful, reliable and saw the project through from start to finish. He told us about Fast Track Funding, and within a couple of weeks it was all set up and we were ready to go, so it happened really, really quickly.

“Fast Track Funding enabled us to be able to fund this and pay it back over a number of years, so it was a great benefit for us.”

Fast Track Funding helps schools and hockey clubs to work together to provide first-class facilities – because most sports facilities are able to generate significant revenue through community use, and this income can be used to pay for a considerable proportion, if not all, of the cost of projects delivered under the unique scheme.

Instead of the customer spending months or years applying for grants and waiting for funding, Notts Sport can provide this flexible funding solution with repayments spread over an agreed period to suit specific budgets. So depending on the customer’s requirements, Notts Sport and its specialist funding partner, Unilink Finance, can provide full funding for the facility upfront or supply part of the cost to top-up existing funds or budgets.

Notts Sport’s experienced multi-sport team are experts in resurfacing old, worn-out sports facilities, completing 21 synthetic pitch resurfacing projects in the last two years, with several more scheduled for the coming months. Notts Sport’s unique design and advisory service guides the client through the wide range of options available, and ensures their choices meet all their requirements throughout the facility’s life.

St Edward’s College’s former sand-filled synthetic turf pitch was suffering from drainage issues and was also uneven due to tree root damage. The college’s new state-of-the-art facility – provided by the college, hockey club, Notts Sport, England Hockey and Liverpool City Council working together – is a full-size artificial hockey pitch with a blue surround, new upgraded fencing and floodlights as well as Olympic standard hockey goals.

The new surface installed is a high-quality sand-dressed synthetic turf manufactured using the latest monofilament-type yarn. The surface is designed to provide playing characteristics as close to a water-based surface as possible (the highest standard of surface available for hockey), but without the need to install an irrigation system.

John says: “The project at St Edward’s College is an excellent example of how quickly Notts Sport can deliver a synthetic pitch resurface – not only in terms of the design work, tender process and contract award, but also drawing down the funding which is obviously needed to enable the project to happen in the first place.

“We are proud to have been involved in transforming this facility for the benefit of the school, the hockey club and the wider community in Liverpool.

“We hope it will help to encourage even more girls and boys to take up hockey. Driving greater participation is a key part of the development of the sport, building on its popularity in the wake of the national team’s Olympic success.”

Notts Sport is able to offer the widest possible range of FIH (International Hockey Federation) compliant pitch surfaces and has developed an enviable reputation for delivering high-quality sport and play facilities.

The partnership with England Hockey, which will run until 2021, will see Notts Sport continue its fantastic work to ensure that clubs, schools and local authorities can deliver the best new and refurbished hockey facilities and help grow the game in communities up and down the country.

Notts Sport has over 32 years’ experience in providing non-turf technology for cricket, tennis, hockey and football as well as children’s play and multi-use games areas.

Committed to providing effective and innovative design solutions, the company has built up an impressive client portfolio, working with academies, local authorities, independent schools, universities, clubs and national and regional sports bodies. Further details about the Fast Track Funding scheme are available via Notts Sport’s website.

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