It’s a Parklife!

The Parklife venture delivered by the Football Foundation and funded by the Football Association, The Premier League and Sport England has been a huge success.

parklife programme

McArdle Sport Tec and Partners TigerTurf have been involved in numerous Football Foundation ‘Premier League and FA Facilities Fund’ projects, for example Falmouth School, Dorothy Hyman and Ilkley Town; but we are immensely proud to have built 10 out of 20 existing ‘Parklife Sports Hubs’ football pitches to date.

The ‘Parklife Programme’ is a five year, £200-million pound investment which was introduced in 2016 by the Football Association, The Premier League and Sport England; which is delivered by the Football Foundation.

Our completed Parklife Projects:

McArdle and partners TigerTurf were selected for the first Parklife project in Sheffield installing two new artificial football pitches at Thorncliffe Recreation Ground in 2016.

Since 2016, we built a further Parklife project in 2017 for Ealing Council which involved two full-size artificial football pitches at Rectory Park.

In 2018 two further Parklife hubs in Liverpool, built by McArdle Sport Tec and partners TigerTurf, were officially opened:
Jericho Lane Playing Fields consisting of two full size artificial pitches and one full size WR Reg 22 artificial rugby pitch completed in November 2018. Heron Eccles Playing Fields opened their new Parklife hub in October 2018 with three new artificial football pitches.

In total, partners TigerTurf and McArdle Sport Tec have been awarded and completed 4 out of the 8 Parklife hubs opened to date.

The ‘Parklife Programme’ is still an ongoing venture, and at present a further 5 Parklife hubs are under construction totalling 15 artificial football pitches to be built.

TigerTurf and McArdle’s were awarded the Gunnersbury Park Parklife project and the Northern Area Playing fields for Sunderland Parklife.
McArdle’s are currently on-site at Gunnersbury Park, preparing foundations to install two new synthetic football pitches, having appointed a new groundswork team and newly acquired Komatsu dozer and digger. Groundworks are also well underway at Northern Area Playing fields, installing a total of three artificial football pitches plus a WR Reg 22 artificial rugby pitch.

What differentiates ‘The Parklife Programme’ to the FA’s the ‘Premier League & FA Facilities Fund’?

The ‘Parklife Programme’ is the creation of new multi-pitch artificial football hubs installed in high demand areas, which typically will have a minimum of two artificial pitches, changing accommodation, and potentially a natural grass pitch

The aim of the ‘Parklife Programme’ is to create sustainable football facilities contained within hub sites, which differs from traditional football investment streams as the funding partners are keen to see a portfolio* approach that provides an area-wide solution rather than a one-off site investment. Local authorities managing areas with a population of over 200,000 are invited to access the Parklife programme.

The ‘Premier League & FA Facilities Fund’ focuses on installing individual pitches in high demand areas.

The fund is available to football clubs, schools, local sports associations and councils, providing grants for building new or refurbishment existing grassroots facilities including changing pavilions and artificial pitches.

*A portfolio approach is where Local Authorities develop proposals for multiple (i.e. a minimum of two) Parklife hub sites. The Parklife model is based on sufficient surplus revenue being generated from hub sites to re-invest in the grassroots game which would not be possible at single sites

Thorncliffe Recreation Ground
Heron Eccles
Heron Eccles

“To say we are proud to have built half of the current Parklife hubs to date is an understatement. McArdle’s team are hard at work on our next two Parklife projects: Gunnersbury Park and Northern Area Playing Fields; preparing foundations for the next 5 artificial pitches for this Parklife venture.”

Steve Barclay, Estimating Director at McArdle Sport Tec.

Our Sports Surfaces

We offer a comprehensive service from conception and planning through to design and construction.


McArdle Sport Tec were delighted to work with David Wilson Homes developing the former MMU Campus in Alsager.

The land at the MMU which is now owned by David Wilson Homes redeveloped the site to create a number of new build housing and the provision of new sports pitches and amenities at the council owned ‘Alsager Leisure Centre’

McArdle Sport Tec installed two new artificial sports pitches and a further five natural grass pitches.  The new FIH National Standard sand dressed hockey pitch plus a Full Size FIFA Quality Standard 3G Artificial Sports Pitch for football are now complete with associated fencing and flood lighting; all 7 pitches costing nearly £1.5 Million pounds.  David Wilson Homes have also constructed a new pavilion, changing rooms and car parking.

Councillor Don Stockton, cabinet member for regeneration, said: “This is fantastic news for Alsager as it will see new playing pitches and a range of sports and leisure amenities provided for the residents of the town.  “The council is committed to providing quality leisure and sports facilities as part of our policy to help our residents to live long and healthy lives.  “With the council’s independent trust Everybody Sport and Recreation taking over management of the facilities, this is expected to meet the requirements set out by Sport England to ensure the town’s leisure and sports offer is protected and sustained.”

Mark Wheelton – Lesiure & Cultural Services Manager at Cheshire East Council:

“Cheshire East Council have recently taken transfer of the Alsager Sports Hub, a multi sport outdoor site delivered as part of a Section 106 Agreement with David Wilson Homes. The pitches, both grass and artificial and wider grounds elements were delivered on behalf of the developer by McArdle Sport Tec.

The completed project is of a very high specification, with the artificial pitches (both football and hockey) being constructed to National Governing Body accreditation levels.

Throughout the construction process the company and team worked closely and extremely well on behalf of the developer with both the Council, NGB’s and local sports clubs to ensure that the completed facility met not only the required specification but one that took into account the local sport club needs. This additional communication element gave confidence in the completed build and one where those local clubs are playing and developing on the highest quality facility. In addition the wider ground works, including footpaths within the site and what will be retained as public open space is also giving an added community dimension to the facility over and above sport”

Sand Dressed Pitch
Sand Dressed Hockey Pitch

“It was fantastic to be involved in such spectacular transformation, the grounds for the former Manchester Metropolitan University have been completely redeveloped creating an amazing community sports area for both hockey and football

Geoff White, Contracts Manager at McArdle Sport Tec.

Our Sports Surfaces

We offer a comprehensive service from conception and planning through to design and construction.

Southfield grange trust – community artificial grass pitch.

Football Foundation framework project with partners TigerTurf UK

Southfield Grange Trust officially opened their community artificial grass pitch on Sunday the 16th September. Partners TigerTurf won this competitive project through the Football Foundation framework, and McArdle Sport Tec completed the pitch installation in 2017.

Southfield Grange were awarded £312,837.00 from the Premier League and The FA Facilities Fund which is delivered by the Football Foundation.

The financial investment enabled the trust to replace their existing sand dressed pitch with a new 101 x 63m floodlit 3rd generation grassroots football pitch. Since the artificial grass pitch was developed, the number of clubs have increased from an impressive 25 to 84 football clubs.

The Football Foundation funding partners have invested 19.9million pounds towards grassroots football in the West Riding region since 2000.

Partner clubs benefiting from the new facilities include:

Bradford City FC, Wyke Wanderers, Campion AFC, St Bede’s Old Boys FC, Bradford Park Avenue FC, One in A Million Charity, Phoenix Junior FC, Shelf JFC, West Bowling ARLFC, Bradford Disability FC and the West Riding FA are some clubs and teams among the beneficiaries.

Southfield Grange Trust community artificial grass pitch

Darren Vidamour, Centre Manager Southfield Grange trust, said:
“On behalf of the trust, I would like to thank the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund for providing the necessary funding, support and professional advise to enable us to replace a tired and outdated pitch with a FIFA accredited community artificial grass pitch which a whole host of local clubs both amateur and professional can use.”
“Not only will the students and staff greatly benefit but also the surrounding community. The various clubs that are using the facility have provided us with fantastic feedback and we are very proud to offer such a fantastic facility in an area that really did need the investment.”

“The pitch has given us a fantastic base for training, our opponents look forward to the Bede’s home games and the players are proud of their home ground.  the use of the pitch over the summer has allowed us to maintain training all season and we have been able to host friendly matches and trials for our new academy.  With more facilities like this, local football would see an upward trend in participation.”

Danny Burke, Club Secretary of St Bede’s Old Boys School.


Our Sports Surfaces

We offer a comprehensive service from conception and planning through to design and construction.

Dorchester Town FC – the avenue stadium.

McArdle Sport Tec were delighted to be appointed as Principle Contractor to install the new 3rd Generation Artificial Pitch at The Avenue Stadium.

Founded in 1880, Dorchester Town Football Club are a semi-professional football club playing in the Southern League Premier South; based at The Avenue Stadium – land which is owned by the Duchy of Cornwall.

The club have worked extremely hard to make this 3G pitch project possible with the vision of creating a community football hub & increasing the available playing hours to 80 hours per week; opening further opportunities for new teams and offering summer football camps.

3G AGP project history:

The project was funded through a Section 106 grant from West Dorset District Council awarding the club 50% of the money they needed for a new 3G pitch, this was fantastic news for the club. They were left with the challenge of raising an additional £252,000.00 which is no small feat; some of the funds were already in place, but the remainder was reliant on successful grants and fundraising.

‘Pitch for the community’ campaign:

The club raised an amazing £21,000 through a unique ‘pitch for the community’ crowdfunding campaign, selling virtual squares of the artificial 3G pitch in exchange for sponsorship. This proved to be a massive success and all original 100 squares were sold out in 3 days, the club decided to create 40 additional squares for sponsorship due to its popularity.  Donations for this campaign were matched by Dorchester Town Council and Dorset County Council, resulting in each £50 ‘3G pitch square’ increasing to £150.

McArdle Sport Tec were delighted to be awarded this contract and install this influential 3G pitch, converting the stadium’s natural turf grass to a state of the art 8424m2 3rd generation football pitch.

The club opted for the unique TigerTurf Ecocept engineered performance base layer. This innovative porous pavement, specifically developed for synthetic turf athletic playing

surfaces, integrates seamlessly with the synthetic turf enhancing biomechanical performance.

Ecocept combines several critical functions in one layer:

– Structural stability in a fully bound and stabilised base.
– Consistent shock absorbency across the entire field, reduced amount of infill and infill splash. Shock absorbency that meets FIFA requirements

“This new development allows Dorchester Town FC to play a much bigger part in our local community and we are delighted to be able to open up our state-of-the-art facility to everyone in the area. ”

Matt Lucas – Dorchester Town Football Club Chair

Our Sports Surfaces

We offer a comprehensive service from conception and planning through to design and construction.


McArdle Sport Tec build 3G AGP at Weston-Super-Mare AFC after Partners TigerTurf are awarded Football Foundation project through RLF.

John Penrose MP officially opened Weston Super Mare AFC’s new 3G artificial football pitch facilities on the 1st June. The project, which was first planned in 2011, was funded by a £642,727 grant from the Premier League and The FA Facilities Fund, delivered by the Football Foundation.

The club’s previous natural turf pitch could not support the back-to-back fixtures and became unusable during the winter months.

Since 2000 the Football Foundation have invested 222 grants worth £9.6m towards grassroots projects worth £21m across the whole of Somerset

John Penrose, MP for Weston-Super-Mare said:
“it is fantastic that this new artificial football pitch is going to have such a positive effect on grassroots football for our area, through investment from the Premier League and the FA Facilities Fund. Weston-Super-Mare AFC will now be able to cater for more local youngsters getting involved in the game, thanks to the increased capacity their new artificial football pitch provides. I am honoured to officially unveil this brand-new 3G facility for them.”

Weston-Super-Mare 3G Pitch

Oliver Bliss, Managing Director, Weston-Super-Mare AFC, said:
“I would like to thank John Penrose MP, Peter Trego, Somerset CCC & Scott Murray, Bristol City FC, for opening this 3G facility. I would also like to thank the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund for making this project possible. It is such a good artificial football pitch facility that so many people have been looking forward to the opening, it will be a great experience now for all of our junior and academy teams. For everyone involved, the players, the parents, the coaches and the club, this will have a major knock-on-effect on the quality of grassroots football in the area and it will improve the numbers that are participating in the sport and also the quality.”

Football Foundation Framework Project

New 106 x 70m community Artificial Football Pitch & MUGA including fencing, removing existing floodlights and replacing with new floodlighting.
Suitable for football and achieve performance testing in accordance with requirements of FIFA Quality.
Artificial Grass:       
TigerTurf Atomic Pro 60
Woodspring Stadium, Winterstoke Road, Weston-Super-Mare, BS24 9AA.
Start Date:                  15/01/2018
Completion Date:    30/04/2018

“This has taken a lot of time and a lot of work, but once the funding was in place it has happened very fast, in just 12 weeks.  It’s a great facility and it enables us to double the size of our academy.”

Managing Director Oliver Bliss – Weston-Super-Mare AFC


Our Sports Surfaces

We offer a comprehensive service from conception and planning through to design and construction.


McArdle Sport Tec and partners TigerTurf, 3G Football pitch is officially opened on the 29th April

A new 4108m2 3G football pitch and additional MUGA was officially opened on the 28th April, by former Plymouth Argyle player Ian Stonebridge.

Plympton Academy, Ridgeway School and the local community are enjoying these new facilities, which have only been made possible due to £397,013 awarded from the Football Foundation through the Premier League and FA Facilities Fund. The Academy and local community raised an additional £10,250 in 28 days through a crowd funding campaign to support the replacement of their existing natural turf pitch.

The academy’s grass pitch proved to be consistently unreliable resulting in many training sessions and games being cancelled due to hazardous playing conditions. The new facilities also benefit from LED floodlighting, which will allow for longer and flexible playing hours, encouraging new members and teams all year round.

Partners TigerTurf were awarded the contract after a scrutinising tender process through Robinson Low Francis. Working in partnership with TigerTurf, McArdle Sport Tec started initial groundworks in November 2017 and completed the project 9 weeks later laying TigerTurf’s Atomic Pro 60 artificial grass achieving FIFA 1 Star status.

Football Foundation & the Premier League and FA Facilities Fund:

“The Football Foundation is the UK’s largest sports’ charity. Funded by the Premier League, The Football Association and the Government, the Foundation directs £30m every year into grassroots sport.”

The Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund provides grants for building or refurbishing grassroots facilities, such as changing pavilions and playing surfaces for community benefit, with money provided by the Premier League, The FA and the Government (via Sport England) and delivered by the Foundation.”


Official figures up to April 2018, show that the Football Foundation have completed 134 projects, with partners TigerTurf and McArdle Sport Tec building the majority of 40 Football Foundation 3G pitches so far.

Plympton has needed a 3G facility for a great number of years. We are currently sending teams across the city for training facilities and have numerous match games postponed owing to the weather. This facility will allow the club to train at the same location and provides a fantastic sporting venue for the local community.

Teresa Hill, Secretary Chaddlewood Miners AFC

This is an exciting opportunity for Plympton and this new sporting development further underpins our commitment to our local community. With the provision of the 3G pitch, our growing student numbers, their families and the wider Plympton community are guaranteed a superb facility where they can enjoy football, whatever level they’re playing at.

Ms Boorman, Principal Ridgeway School

Teresa Lakeman, Business Director, Plympton Academy:

“Our students and the local community will enjoy many years of use thanks to the generous support of the Premier League and The FA Facilities Fund.  This new facility represents a considerable improvement in grassroots sport for Plympton and the academy will continue to work with the local community to maximise access to our facilities.”

Our Sports Surfaces

We offer a comprehensive service from conception and planning through to design and construction.

Dorothy Hyman Sports Club – Artificial Pitch Resurface

McArdle Sport Tec and partners TigerTurf, 3G Football Foundation pitch officially opened on the 9th March.

McArdle Sport Tec & TigerTurf completed a challenging 3G pitch installation in February; after winning a competitive tender to resurface an existing artificial pitch for Dorothy Hyman Sports Centre in Barnsley.

The schedule of works included refurbishment and extension of an existing sand dressed pitch to build a new community 106 x 70m 3G pitch.

The previous artificial pitch had been decommissioned in 2012 after it had been deemed unsafe. The new pitch layout includes an extension to the footprint playing area, as well as replacing the existing floodlighting and installing ball stop perimeter fencing.

Once groundworks had begun, we soon discovered that the foundations needed extensive works to remove 2000 cubic meters of solid rock formation inhibiting the progress of the planned works. Once this minor set back had been overcome, and foundations had been established, TigerTurf’s FIFA Quality & Quality Pro accredited product, Atomic Pro 60 had been laid over the engineered macadam base.

This facility was made possible due to a grant of £361,598 awarded by the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund, which is delivered by the largest sports charity in the UK, the Football Foundation. Funds are generated by the Premier League, The FA and Government via Sport England making these grants available to develop new and refurbished grassroots sporting facilities.

The pitch was officially opened on the 9th March by Premier League assistant referee Scott Ledger, and joined by Darren England, Stephen Lodge & Sir Stephen Houghton CBE. Attending guest of honour was infamous Olympic sprinter Dorothy Hyman which the sports centre is named after, who represented GB in the 100m and 200m events in the Commonwealth Games and Olympic Games in 1960 & 1964.

Cllr Roy Miller, Cabinet Spokesperson for Place, said:

“It is exciting news that the new state-of-the-art 3G pitch is now complete.  It will be a great addition to the fantastic facilities already available at the Dorothy Hyman Centre.

Together with partners like BPL we are working hard to help people achieve their potential to be healthier, happier and active.  The new pitch will not only support the councils Play Pitch strategy but also provide more opportunities for local people to get involved in sport and active recreation.”

Joni Millthorpe, BPL contracts manager, said: “There has been a lot of excitement around the new development.

“Many local teams are finding it difficult to expand because they don’t have the facilities to train and it can be expensive to travel outside the area, which is hindering their growth. “This new pitch will allow them to go from strength to strength”

Scott Ledger, Premier League assistant referee, said:
“living locally. I know the impact that football has on our area and the good it can do for people. I am delighted to be joined by Darren and Stephen in officially opening this new all-weather pitch for the community, and I would like to thank the Premier League and the FA facilities fund for its investment in this fantastic project.”

Our Sports Surfaces

We offer a comprehensive service from conception and planning through to design and construction.


MP John Grogan & former Bradford City star John Hendrie officially opened the brand new 3G football pitch facilities at Ben Rhydding Sports Club.

Ilkley Town Football Club worked in partnership with Ilkley Grammar School in West Yorkshire to receive a £376,613.00 grant through the Football Foundation FA & Premier League Facilities Fund; this enabled the transformation of existing grass pitch into an exemplary 3G football pitch.

Before the new facilities were built, Ilkley Town FC played mainly on natural turf pitches at many locations and hired out 3G artificial pitches to cater for evening training sessions at Ben Rhydding and at St Mary’s School. This arrangement was not suitable for the club; as the artificial sand dressed grass pitch at Ben Rydding was built in 1994 and designed specifically for hockey. The hired natural grass pitches were not floodlit, which significantly limited the club’s options for training times. During the winter months the grass pitches were almost impossible to use due to waterlogging and deep mud, resulting the in the council often closing the pitches for 3 months every winter to allow the turf to recover.

McArdle Sport Tec were thrilled to be working in partnership with TigerTurf after winning the competitive tender to construct the full-size community 3G football pitch. Using TigerTurf’s Atomic Pro 60 for the artificial carpet, complete with new LED floodlighting and fencing. The new AGP facilities will allow the club to meet the high demand for new teams and vastly improve the flexibility and frequency of training sessions that the club can now offer.

Ilkley Town FC aim to increase the number of members especially within the women’s teams and encourage users with disabilities and over 50’s to partake in walking football. Currently 24 teams use the 3G football pitch however they predict the number of teams will rise to 32 in the coming months.

Ilkley Grammar School worked in partnership with Ilkley Town FC to help obtain the vital funds through the Football Foundation, with 1500 students attending the secondary education school they have access and use of the 3G football pitch during term time from 9am until 3pm

John Hendrie, Former Bradford City FC player:
“I am really pleased to help unveil this new pitch for Ilkley Town FC, and my thanks go to the club for inviting me to do so. Ilkley Town FC is an integral part of the community here, and it is great that more local people now have access to a state-of-the-art-facility. The club worked hard to get funding from the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund, and I would like to thank the fund for their support of grassroots football”.

Ilkley Town FC raised the additional funds through a vast number of revenues including: crowd funding, community investments, supporter loan stock offer schemes, existing funds, the local Parish Council and District Roundtable, the club also raised £10,000.00 through a black tie ball attended by 290 members.

Simon Armstrong, Ilkley Town FC Facility Manager stated:
“We are incredibly thankful Mr Grogan and Mr Hendrie could open our outstanding community facility. The club, as a whole did an incredible job of raising the funds in such a short space of time and with the assistance of the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund we have been able to deliver a unique experience in Ilkley.

The 3G pitch is already having a huge impact with Ilkley Grammar School use during the day, all Ilkley teams training at the same site and an average 4 to 5 club fixtures being played every weekend on the new artificial surface. Community partners Burley Trojans FC and West Riding FA are constantly feeding back on the quality of the surface and set up we now have.”

Credit to Halliday Lighting for the aerial drone imagery.


8 floodlighting columns installed on this project are 500 LUX with a switching down option to 350 LUX for training purposes with a 2kw output.


“Since 2000 the Football Foundation Funding Partners’ investment has provided 533 grants worth a total of £19.8 million towards grassroots facilities across the whole of West Riding.” – Fooball Foundation Premier League and FA Facilities Fund”

Our Sports Surfaces

We offer a comprehensive service from conception and planning through to design and construction.


Enfield Borough Council successfully obtained a substantial funding from the Football Foundation for £522,000.00. The grant enabled the council to convert one of their 16 natural football turf pitches, based at Enfield Playing Fields, into a first-class FIFA Quality 106 x 70m 3G artificial floodlit pitch.

The new 3G pitch will benefit the local community and grassroots football clubs including the councils partner club Enfield Town FC. It is anticipated that the pitch will be used over 50 hours per week. A five-year development plan compiled with the council, Football Foundation and Middlesex County FA expect players under the age of 14 will increase by 63% & the number of current teams will increase from 20 to 31.

Chairman of Enfield Town FC Paul Reed commented:
“We are incredibly excited to be having this facility on our doorstep and can’t wait to work with Enfield Council to enhance the borough’s growing reputation in football.

“Our aim is to increase accessibility to football and help make it a sport for all, and this project fits perfectly with our vision of being an inclusive club and a football and social centre for the community, with a range of teams playing at the highest sustainable levels possible.”

The Football Foundation considered this project vital for football development within the borough, due to the lack of 3G pitch facilities available. The pitch was officially opened on the 20th November by the Mayor of Enfield Christine Hamilton and fellow councillors Daniel Anderson and Ayfer Orhan.

Councillor Daniel Anderson, Enfield cabinet member for the environment said:

“The Mayor of Enfield and I are thrilled to officially open the new 3G pitch at Enfield Playing Fields with the help of the Premier League and the FA facilities Fund. We would like to give our thanks to all involved bringing this first-class facility to Enfield. Our aim is to encourage those of all abilities to actively participate in sport. We would like to foster grassroots football in the borough, improve skill levels across the board and help the local community benefit from this outstanding new pitch. I look forward to kick-off!”

The Football Foundation is the largest sports charity in the United Kingdom. Originally founded in 2000, they work with the Premier League, The FA and Sport England. Their mission is to develop new and refurbished grassroot sporting facilities. The Football Foundation has awarded approximately 15,000 grants worth over £580m since the charity was launched, additional partnership funding of over £800m has also been contributed towards these investments.

Working in partnership with TigerTurf, McArdle’s were delighted to be involved in another contract to build a prestigious Football Foundation project. TigerTurf’s Atomic Pro 60 artificial carpet was laid on an engineered base to achieve FIFA Quality standards. The pitch took a total of 12 weeks to complete, with 5,500 tonnes of stone imported, 148 tonnes of kiln dried silica sand and 111 tonnes of specially selected rubber crumb to create the 3G pitch infill.

Enfield Town FC

Video footage courtesy of Halliday Lighting – http://www.halliday-lighting.co.uk/

“The Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund provides the investment necessary to improve grassroots football facilities. So, I am delighted to see Enfield Council join thousands of local clubs and organisations who have reaped in benefit, in this case through the opening of a new 3G AGP.

Having delivered over £1.4bn of grassroots sports infrastructure projects, the Football Foundation has developed a network of accessible, first-class facilities in areas they will have the greatest impact – thanks to money from the Premier League, The FA and the Government via Sport England.

These facilities are more than places to play football at, these facilities are hubs of physical activity, the bedrock of local communities and ‘homes from home’ for so many who use them as social outlets to learn new skills, gain work experience and other qualifications.”

Paul Thorogood, Chief Executive of the Football Foundation

Our Sports Surfaces

We offer a comprehensive service from conception and planning through to design and construction.


Pupils benefit from a brand new 3G pitch thanks to a a grant from the Football Foundation.

McArdle Sport Tec were delighted to work in partnership with TigerTurf after winning a competitive tender; as the chosen contractor to construct and install a new full size 3G community football pitch at the Oxford Academy. The artificial pitch was officially opened on the 3rd October with special guests from Oxford United FC.

The 3G community football pitch was made possible by securing a £579,201 grant through the Football Foundation. The funding enabled the academy to replace an existing grass pitch with a state of the art 3G pitch built to FIFA Quality standards. The new facilities are expected to increase football participation in the area by 266% according to the Football Foundation. Pupils at the Oxford Academy will benefit from the new pitch in addition to partner clubs, Greater Leys FC, Florence Park FC, Oxford Blackbirds FC, Horsporth YFC, Union Street FC, Littlemore RFC and local primary schools.

The installation of the pitch by McArdle’s took approximately 14 weeks in total; and during the build, 5,000 tonnes of stone was imported, six floodlight columns were erected and a total of 7,420 square metres of TigerTurf Atomic Pro 60 artificial turf was laid.

Paul Thorogood, Chief Executive of the Football Foundation, said:

“The Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund provides the investment necessary to improve grassroots football facilities. So, I am delighted to see the Oxford Academy join thousands of local clubs and organisations who have reaped its benefit, in this case through the opening of a new 3G community football pitch. My thanks go to Oxford United FC players who took the time to unveil the facility.
Having delivered over £1.4 billion of grassroots sports infrastructure projects, the Football Foundation has developed a network of accessible, first-class facilities in areas they will have the greatest impact – thanks to money from the Premier League, the FA and the Government via Sport England.
These facilities are more than places to play football at, these facilities are hubs of physical activity, the bedrock of local communities and ‘homes from home’ for so many who also use them as social outlets to learn new skills, gain work experience and other qualifications.”

“The Oxford Academy would like to thank the Football Foundation and the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund for the support and funding provide for this project. As a facility we have struggled to accommodate local sports clubs for their training and fixtures in recent years.
This new facility will enable us to provide a state-of-the-art facility, along with our current facilities, to local community clubs. As a school, one of our objectives is to serve the community in the evenings and weekends. This project has allowed us to take a step closer to achieving this.”

Matthew Brandish, Community Operations Manager for Oxford Academy

Our Sports Surfaces

We offer a comprehensive service from conception and planning through to design and construction.


6 year old 3G Sports Pitch passes FIFA 1 star accreditation

McArdle Sport Tec were delighted that a 3G sports pitch originally installed for the Netherton Football Club in 2011 has recently passed the FIFA 1 Star accreditation.  The all-weather TigerTurf Soccer Real 60mm AGP built for Netherton FC at The Grange in Peterborough, measures 7526m2; and was extensively tested to pass the following areas to achieve the 1 Star FIFA standard:

  • Ball rebound
  • Ball roll
  • Force reduction
  • Vertical deformation
  • Rotational resistance
  • Surface regularity and dimensions

Ron Seddon, Chairman for The Netherton Football Club was delighted that the pitch has passed the FIFA 1 Star, the community pitch is used extensively; Ron himself participates in the Walking Football team.  The original Contracts Manager David and Site Manager Shaun, are long-standing and valued McArdle staff members; both have been involved in many prestigious pitch and athletics track projects.

Regular maintenance and care is vital to ensure longevity and performance for your 3G sports pitch.  Ensuring players wear the correct footwear using only moulded or screw in stud football boots prevents the turf compacting or flattening. Regular brushing will maintain the turf yarns/fibres to remain upright and protects the infill from compacting.  You can read our comprehensive 3G Pitch Maintenance guide for more information

Netherton Football Club have been stringent with ensuring that all regular and more intensive maintenance procedures including infill top ups have been carried out.  The clubs pitch care would have no doubt assisted the endurance and performance of their pitch resulting in successful testing and accreditation from FIFA.

Steve Gould, Facilities Manager, commented:

“The Grange, Peterborough, 3G sports pitch installed by McArdle’s as part of a Football Foundation project has since hand over in 2012 grown year on year. Managed by Netherton Community Sports Association the average footfall is now around 1000 people weekly, which is fantastic.

We have a wide range of users; Walking Footballers, Local Schools, Social Football, Charity Matches, Schools County Finals, Local League Finals, as well as regular training and matches. Usage has increased year on year. At a recent progress meeting with the football Foundation the facility, along with its Management received very positive feedback.

We are constantly receiving positive comments with regards to the Pitch some suggesting it is one of if not the best facility in the area and indeed further afield. We pride ourselves on maintaining the pitch to the highest possible standard and recently for the second successive period have achieved the FIFA 1 Star rating.

Our aim is to continue to grow and provide football for the local community whilst maintaining the 3G sports pitch facility to the highest standards possible.”

“When we heard that the original Netherton Football Club Pitch passed the recent FIFA 1 Star accreditation, I was delighted to see the test results.  It shows that as long as you install a stable engineered sub-base with a reputable and proven artificial turf supplier, as with all pitches providing the regular maintenance and care has taken place the results show in the condition of the pitch year after year.

David Darnell, Contracts Manager for McArdle Sport Tec

Our Sports Surfaces

We offer a comprehensive service from conception and planning through to design and construction.

3G Football Pitch – Which Boots?

To keep a 3G pitch looking its best, the correct footwear is vital.

In order to prolong the life of a 3G pitch it’s vital that players wear suitable footwear. All 3G pitches should have DOs and Don’ts boards detailing the acceptable footwear. As a general guide, see the illustration taken from the FA Guide to 3G Design & Layouts.

3G Suitable Pitch boots


McArdle Sport Tec won a competitive tender for the construction of 2 new 3G pitches at the second site of the Sheffield’s Parklife Scheme, St George’s Park – Thorncliffe

In 2014, The Football Association unveiled its plan to build more than 150 new “football hubs” at over 30 major UK city locations. In order to achieve this, the FA pledged to invest more than £230 million into 3G football pitch construction by creating new “football hubs”.

Sheffield was selected as the first city to benefit from the “football hubs” and with backing from Sheffield City Council, the new project was to become known as “Parklife”. The Parklife project would see more than £6.8 million invested in football in Sheffield over a few sites across the city.

Planning permission was granted for the first two sites in 2015, Greg Dyke, Chairman for the FA said, “This is excellent news for grassroots football in Sheffield and a significant step towards making our vision of creating publicly accessible football hubs across all major cities by 2020 a reality.” “Introducing city hubs is a key recommendation of the Chairman’s Commission as a means of protecting football facilities from a potential downward spiral of declining quality brought about by inevitable reductions in local authority funding as fiscal budgets are squeezed.”

Paul Billington, Director of Culture, Sport and Leisure at Sheffield City Council, also added “I’m really pleased that planning permission has been granted for the first of these new football facilities, which will significantly improve the quality of the grassroots football provision here in Sheffield,” he said. “As well as being a boost for those who already play football, this new partnership with The FA is expected to increase participation and, in the longer term, provide a financial saving to the council as more play is concentrated on fewer pitches.”

McArdle Sport Tec won a competitive tender for the 3G football pitch construction of the new pitches at the second site of the Sheffield’s Parklife Scheme, Thorncliffe Recreation Ground. The new football hub was to be built alongside the new £7 million North Active Leisure Centre and the project included the installation of two new, full size 3G pitches for football, each with specialist fencing and floodlighting, and two fully drained 11v11 natural grass pitches. It also included a changing room, coach education facility and social space.

The proposed third site in Sheffield is set to boast two full-sized 3G pitches and natural turf pitches, a fitness centre, changing rooms and an education facility. Councillor Sioned-Mair Richards, Cabinet Member for Neighbourhoods at Sheffield City Council, said, “This partnership with the FA is a great thing for our city. I’m delighted to see this grassroots scheme moving forward with the announcement of the third football hub site, which will also create a fantastic new public health facility in the south east of Sheffield.” She added, “Football is Sheffield’s biggest team sport with over 800 teams, the majority of which are junior and youth teams. It is significant for sports participation, community activity and associated health benefits.”

McArdle Sport Tec believe that more 3G football pitch construction, and the creation of football hubs across the UK should have a positive impact on grassroots football as all-weather pitches provide much longer playing times and are not weather dependant.

“The vision of building football hubs in up to 30 key cities and towns has begun and we applaud Sheffield for leading the way.” Kelly Simmons, The FA’s Director of Participation and Development

Our Sports Surfaces

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Changes to FIFA’s Pitch Certification

At the end of 2015, the FIFA Quality Programme released a new Test Manual containing more stringent requirements for football turf installations. With the release of the new manual a set of new Quality Marks were introduced – FIFA QUALITY and FIFA QUALITY PRO, which will replace the FIFA Recommended 1 Star and 2 Star marks.


Because all artificial surfaces and systems are different, FIFA developed a testing scheme to ensure there was a benchmark for artificial playing surfaces. An artificial pitch can only be called ‘football turf’ once it has been tested to FIFA’s stringent criteria in the laboratory and on the field. If an artificial turf playing surface fulfils FIFA’s quality requirements necessary for football in terms of Playing Performance, Safety, Durability and Quality Assurance, it will be awarded a FIFA quality mark.

The FIFA QUALITY mark, formerly FIFA RECOMMENDED 1 Star, is awarded to pitches that meet the standard for community and amateur fields with typically 40-60 playing hours per week.

The FIFA QUALITY PRO mark, formerly FIFA RECOMMENDED 2 Star, is awarded to fields that ensure the highest playing performance for professional-level football for typical usage of up to 20 playing hours per week.