New football pitch construction surfaces for Westminster Academy

When it comes to resurfacing sports pitches, every project has its own challenges. But the ETC Sports team always finds a way to overcome even the trickiest of logistics. While we work across the UK, many of our football pitch construction projects are in and around London and the South East. Especially in London, square footage is at a premium and demand for all-year-round sports facilities is high. So, when we’re operating in the city, balancing outstanding workmanship, site health and safety, and an efficient turnaround are the headlines.

That was certainly the case when we took on the resurfacing of three artificial football pitches for Academy Sport. This community sports facility is attached to Westminster Academy, a non-selective academy for 11 to 18-year-olds. Managed by Everyone Active, the facility offers a sports hall, three outdoor 3G pitches, a MUGA pitch, beach volleyball court, and even a parkour park! Naturally, when ETC Sports was invited to resurface Academy Sports’ all-weather pitches, we were delighted to help.  But there is no denying that a busy urban location, heavy all-year-round usage, and subsidence beneath the old pitches raised some complex project management considerations.

Football pitch construction and resurfacing in the heart of West London

The first challenge we faced when resurfacing these artificial football pitches was the location itself. This facility lies directly underneath London’s notoriously congested Westway – an elevated dual carriageway connecting Inner London to West London. So, transporting and delivering the materials for this project involved meticulous traffic management. The priority was to safeguard pedestrians, road users and, of course, the staff, students and community groups who use these pitches throughout the year.

What’s more, our site survey revealed that one of the pitches had significant underlying subsidence. To resolve this, we needed to carefully excavate the damage and re-compact the ground. Plus, we are always committed to protecting our clients’ budgets. So, we worked carefully to repair and preserve the existing shock pads, before laying new surfaces over the original all weather pitch construction.

We recommended a Tiger Turf Atomic Pro 60 artificial football pitch for this client. Designed to withstand constant wear and tear, this surface offers ultra-durable resilience, comfort, and safety. Westminster Academy students and community users play on these pitches constantly. Therefore, we prioritised resurfacing the main pitch, returning it to play as quickly as possible. We then moved onto resurfacing the two smaller pitches. We completed the whole project in just over twelve weeks. And we ensured that, wherever possible, old materials were recycled to minimise any environmental impact.

FA approval for Academy Sports’ new artificial football pitches

Just like our recent pitch resurfacing project at London’s Market Road, our work at Westminster Academy was tested to ensure the pitches met FA standards. The testing was carried out by the Centre for Sports Technology. They put all three resurfaced football pitch designs through their paces, before confirming the pitches as FA approved, and entering them in the FA 3G pitch register

The new pitches were celebrated during an opening ceremony in early 2022. Westminster City Council’s Cllr James Spence formally opened the facility. He then invited pupils of Westminster Academy and St Marylebone CE Bridge School try the new artificial football pitches for themselves. Commemorative plaques were unveiled, acknowledging the Football Foundation for providing project funding channelled from the FA, the Premier League, and the government’s Department of Media, Culture and Sport.

Our own Bob Froud, ETC Sports’ Client Services Manager, also attended the event. With more than fifty years’ experience in the industry, Bob has certainly seen his fair share of football pitch design, construction, and maintenance projects! But this one had an especially personal link. “Years ago, I was involved in the original construction of these pitches,” he said. “So, it was a pleasure to oversee the resurfacing after all this time. The technology moves on, but our founding principles at ETC Sports Surfaces remain the same. Whether it’s a one-off pitch resurface, or an all-weather pitch construction from scratch, our priority is delivering quality workmanship, competitive pricing, and end-to-end customer service. It’s always a real privilege to attend opening events like this. It lets us appreciate the impact of our work on the children and communities who enjoy these facilities all year round.”

More on football pitch construction and resurfacing

Does your facility have a football pitch in need of updating?

Explore our range of all weather pitches and 3G pitches.

Or, for help and advice, contact ETC Sports Surfaces’ specialist team. We’ll be delighted to discuss your project and arrange a site survey where needed.

Connect with our project partners:

Everyone Active: @EveryoneActive

Active Westminster: @ActiveWCC

Centre for Sports Technology: @CSTGlobal1

Accreditation: @sapca