Leatherhead CC ECB approved artificial practice facility
Back in summer 2018, Leatherhead CC started researching suppliers for a new artificial cricket practice facility. The goal was to create a new cricket academy for the club – with practice facility and car park – on a piece of land adjacent to the ground leased from the council. The club’s existing 2-lane practice facility was over-used by all age groups, including its youth side, which consists some 200 children aged 5+. A new four-lane facility was planned to support coaching efforts for all levels.
Club representatives visited numerous grounds to look at facilities installed by ECB approved system design suppliers; inviting three companies to make a formal bid, among them total-play Ltd. Having been impressed by total-play’s product and referrals from other clubs during site visits, a combination of the company’s experience, responsive approach and value for money proposal made it the firm favourite.
With funding secured through a number of sources; including the London Marathon Charitable Trust, Surrey Cricket Foundation, the ECB and sponsorship from local companies – among them major employer Unilever under their Persil brand – total-play was contracted to install a fully enclosed 33m, 4 lane facility based on its flagship tp365 ECB approved non-turf pitch design.
Work commenced on site in early 2020, with total-play’s in-house team undertaking everything from initial groundworks through to laying the dynamic aggregate base, installing shockpads, green and blue Wilton Woven carpets and the steel framework to create the fully enclosed facility. They then fitted total-play’s exclusive HD Protection Tunnel Netting System; creating a tensioned ‘cocoon’ of netting in each lane to prevent errant balls passing between lanes or escaping the facility. Other bespoke elements included white training lines woven into the carpet and white batting curtains.
Despite the winter weather, works were completed on site by deadline, with the facility completed in March 2020 just before the country entered the first COVID lockdown. When restrictions relaxed later in summer the new facility really came into its own, as club Chairman, Ian Dyson, explains:
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The timing for completion of the facility really couldn’t have been better – having the additional lanes meant that, once allowed, we could run training sessions safely and effectively within COVID guidelines, with two lanes in use at any one time. Sessions were fully booked through summer and September, and it has remained in regular use right through to the end of October half term.
We’re delighted with the quality of finish and performance of the completed facility. It is going to make a huge difference to the club in terms of recruiting and retaining members.