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English initiative on artificial turf sport surfaces has implications for Australia
A new agreement between England’s top sports bodies that aims to provide better quality and value for money artificial turf sporting fields has implications for Australia.
The Football Foundation, The Football Association, Rugby Football Union (RFU), England Hockey and Sport England have come together to establish a means of ensuring that the procurement and installation of the country’s artificial turf pitches (known as AGPs - artificial grass pitches in the UK) are of a consistent quality and price.
The new Framework Agreement ensures that suppliers, who have been handpicked on the basis of their expertise, always deliver quality, value-for-money, artificial turf pitches. This agreement comes at a time of increased demand for AGPs at the grassroots level.
This latest Framework Agreement follows the success of the previous agreement which was introduced in 2010 to address concerns over the quality of some pitches and the inconsistent through-life support offered by the industry at that time. The Foundation, The FA and RFU developed a strategy for designing and implementing an AGP Framework that would address their concerns through a multi-sport partnership.
Over its four-year term, that initial Framework has delivered more than 120 new artificial turf pitches for both football and rugby. Forecasts suggest that this new agreement, which is now accessible to an extensive list of contracting authorities, such as local authorities, schools and other sporting bodies irrespective of where the funding originates from, will deliver approximately 300 new and refurbished pitches over the next four years. It covers a range of artificial surfaces, including water-based and sand-based, as well as third generation (3G) surfaces.
Robinson Low Francis LLP have been appointed as the Framework Managing Consultant working in partnership with Labosport Ltd and Surfacing Standards Ltd. who will provide technical design, inspection and accredited testing services.
Six suppliers and installers will undertake all of the work, these are: Fieldturf Tarkett SAS; Lano Sports NV; Limonta Smith JV Ltd.; Support in Sport (UK) Ltd.; TigerTurf (UK) Ltd and Thornton Sports Ltd.
Speaking on behalf of the Framework Authorities, Football Foundation, Chief Operating Officer Dave McDermott, stated “this Framework Agreement is excellent news for grassroots sport.
“The handpicked suppliers have been selected because of their expertise in delivering first class facilities at affordable construction costs.
“The inaugural Framework Agreement proved to be a huge success as an effective mechanism for procuring and delivering high-quality AGPs, both at the point of completion and through the life of the facility. The high standards we demand are now both recognised and accepted by the AGP industry.
“Looking to the future, the new framework will provide an opportunity to build on this strong foundation and drive further benefit, economy and efficiency for a much broader clientele.”
A similar agreement between national sporting organisations and artificial turf suppliers has been discussed in Australia.
17th April 2015 - ETIHAD STADIUM ARTIFICIAL TURF BLAMED FOR INJURY TO AFL STAR
16th April 2015 - NEW GUIDANCE ON SYNTHETIC SPORTS SURFACE PROVISION AND USAGE
28th July 2010 - ETIHAD STADIUM PLAYING SURFACE UNDER FIRE
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