Aston Villa Football Club Training Ground

Birmingham, England

Clive Richardson Limited were appointed as the main contractors for the construction of new academy pitches, including associated drainage, irrigation systems and fencing at Aston Villa Football Club’s Bodymoor Heath Training Ground.  The new pitches were constructed on a greenfield site adjacent to the clubs existing training ground.

The project was the first phase of the Club’s training facility development which was undertaken due to the acquisition by High Speed Two Ltd of AVFC land located outside the southern boundary that currently supports several training pitches which will be destroyed by the construction of the new railway.

The project involved the construction of a hybrid stitched pitch, multiple fibresand pitches and a FIFA Quality Pro synthetic pitch. The construction of a 45000m2 pitch platform commenced with the installation of a drainage system and the laying of irrigation pipework and electrical ducting.  On top of a geotextile membrane, a gravel layer was installed before a lower root-zone layer was laid.  Then CRL mixed fibresand upper root-zone on-site using their mobile mixing plant and this was installed across the platform.  At this stage the irrigation system was completed before the platform was covered with protective covers.  When the entirety of the platform was completed,  the area was fertilised and seeded.

Spectator fencing was then installed around the Academy Show Pitch and a synthetic pitch surround laid.  Three weeks post seeding the Show Pitch was hybrid stitched.

The dynamic base for the synthetic pitch was constructed and kerbing installed. The synthetic carpet system was then laid and infilled per manufacturers instructions. Various perimeter and spectator fencing was installed around the pitch. The pitch was then independently tested and certified to FIFA Quality Pro standard.

Due to the large nature of the platform and logistical issues because of ongoing works on adjacent sites, the works were completed in three phases.

At the same time a number of ballstop fences were erected across the platform to suit a pitch configuration outlined by the club.  The entire site was enclosed with rabbit-proof fences.

Floodlights were also erected on the Show Pitch and the 3G Pitch and a spectator stand erected at a later date.

The grow-in of the pitches was managed CRL and some of the pitches were ready for play in time for the commencement of the Club’s 2019/20 pre-season training.

The site was subject to a number of ecological planning constraints due to the adjacent Coneybury Wood being designated as Local Wildlife Site (LWS): ancient replanted woodland and Section 41 habitats of principal importance.  Protection orders were also in place to protect newts, badgers and bats within the site.  CRL had to undertake to carry out works in a manner which would not cause damage to the wood or harm to the aforementioned animals.

The standard of the work carried out by CRL in the delivery of this project was recognised at the 2019 ALCI Landscape Awards where it was crowned Winner in the Sportsground category.

Key Features

  • Hybrid Stitched Pitches
  • Fibresand Pitches
  • Irrigation
  • Fencing

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