Whether you’re looking to upgrade your current facilities or are looking for a new venue, there are a number of elements that could affect its suitability for your club.
If you’ll be training during the evening, then floodlighting could help illuminate the area and allow you to play for longer. Whereas there are a myriad of advantages and disadvantages for real and artificial turf pitches, so it’s important to research these and which would most suit your sport.
Floodlighting can increase the use of a facility, especially during the winter months.
Certain sports have specific requirements regarding lighting levels (commonly referred to as ‘Lux’ levels) to enable training or matches to be undertaken safely. Further information can be found on Sport England's website.
Grounds and Pitch Management
Whether your club is lucky enough to have its own facilities or you hire from the local council, you might be thinking about developing new pitches or maybe upgrading the ones you’ve already got in order to grow your club or increase the amount of usage the pitch can take.
The Institute of Groundmanship is a professional organisation for grounds management. It delivers training opportunities, conference and award programmes across the UK. It also offers its members guidance on employment issues such as health and safety.
For eligible projects around pitch drainage or new pitches/playing areas, funders may require a conditions survey to be undertaken on the land in question prior to any application being submitted (sometimes called a Performance Quality Standard, or PQS). This is an independent conditions report that is carried out by an accredited consultant, under the banner of the Institute of Groundsmanship (IOG). The PQS will detail the current condition of the parcel of land in question. It will also suggest the nature of the problem(s), as well as the type and approximate cost of remedial works. In terms of Sport Wales investment, it is only after this stage can a better steer be given to the applicant around a potential application.
In general, maintenance is a key issue for clubs, especially those using natural turf or artificial turf.
Artificial Turf Pitches
Synthetic playing surfaces are still popular choices for clubs in certain sports, especially during the wet winter months.
The governing bodies of three sports in Wales – football, hockey and rugby – have joined forces, together with Sport Wales, to work together on a project to provide improved artificial playing surfaces across Wales.
Priority zones or hot spots have been identified for the development of artificial pitches and funding provided by Sport Wales will help deliver a more fit for purpose facilities landscape. Other funding streams are also highlighted in the plan.
Sport Wales’ funding pages will provide you with further information and ideas on where to raise money for your development.