Property design and management consultants, NPS South West, along with Sportfields and Desso Sports have begun the first stage of the Exeter City Football Club training ground improvement scheme. This exciting scheme is to create a full sized floodlit 3G artificial pitch at Exeter City’s Cliff Hill Training Ground for use by the professional club, the academy, ‘Football in the Community’ and the wider community of Exeter and East Devon. The pitch mirrors the size of that at St James’ Park, ‘home’ of the first team and will be one of the first pitches of this type in the UK.
The artificial pitch utilises the latest innovative cork filled ‘carpet’ laid on a shock-pad to provide a high durable quality playing surface and will prove to be an essential facility for the Club. Historic issues such as weather have affected training sessions, travelling to other training facilities and cancelled games. This will now be avoided, as the durable new pitch will enable training to continue, regardless of the weather, and help maintain the quality of the grass training pitches over the winter period. In addition, flood lighting will also ensure that the pitch can be utilised for longer periods, and there will be improved parking facilities at the ground.
The state-of-the-art cork infill carpet has been supplied by Desso Sports Surfaces and will be laid by Sportfields, a specialist sports construction company who build artificial and natural sports pitches throughout the UK. The new pitch will offer players quality performance and comfort, whilst it is also environmentally friendly and sustainable.
Chris Jay, Director of Design and Maintenance – NPS said: “This is a very exciting project for the club and we worked very closely with them to provide a full service. It’s one of the first pitches in the country to use the pioneering cork filled carpet which will help to keep the team training and playing throughout all seasons and also serve the local community.”
Exeter City Manager Paul Tisdale, now in his 11th season at St James Park commented: “This project is one of the highlights of my time here at Exeter. It’s one of the biggest investments we have had since I have been here and will cover every aspect of the club.” He continued: “This is going to be a contemporary facility, there are a lot of 3G pitches around the country, but not this type of pitch with the new cork infill and all the details, which make it very state-of-the-art.”