Having been forced to compromise on the quality and location of their original nets through budgetary constraints, Ashford Cricket Club needed a cricket specialist with the knowledge and determination to help them deliver their new cricket nets, despite a 7-year funding and planning challenge.
Ashford Cricket Club is based at Ashford Sports Club in Stanwell, Staines with 6 men’s teams, a Ladies section and a large junior section from U10 to U17. With a combination of league and friendly cricket, as well as training, players of all ages and abilities are welcomed to the club to develop their skills and get involved.
Following the club’s poor experience of cricket net construction in the past, the club were desperately in need of some replacement nets. The existing nets were constructed at an East-West orientation rather than North-South and had become unsuitable for safe use. Due to the orientation, funding became an issue for refurbishment, so the club required the construction of brand new nets at a different location on site, in the correct orientation.
This itself caused problems with planning, with the club needing to identify a location that would suit their needs – as they wished to remain close to the clubhouse – without impeding upon other facilities within the sports club grounds.
Initially contacting S&C Slatter back in 2014, the club faced a number of planning and funding issues when trying to kick off their cricket net construction project. Our Cricket Director Alex Bennett helped the club with the specification of their net design, keeping in close contact with the club committee throughout their attempts to secure planning.
It was this dedication, guidance and customer-centric approach that lead the club to choose S&C Slatter over 3 other contractors who had priced the works.
Alex continually advised and guided the club based on changes to budget levels and planning feedback, making site assessments to help the club decide on their ideal option. This option satisfied planning requirements, ensured that the natural turf facilities would not be impacted and fulfilled the club’s wish for the facility to be near to the clubhouse.
Not only this, but by using our expansive in-house expertise, a location was eventually identified that would enable a higher specification of cricket nets for the club, at a lower cost. Lead by Shaun, who has been building cricket pitches for S&C Slatter for nearly 30 years, our team converted and extended part of the existing netball court on site, utilising the existing sub-base in our construction process. This meant that despite budget limitations, the club was able to have a larger and higher specification facility than they would otherwise have been able to achieve.
As partners in the South to Notts Sport for 30 years, we constructed 3x cricket nets to Envelope® System pitch specification, with a NottsGrass Ultra artificial turf surface – the only monofilament surface in existence within any ECB Approved systems, truly bringing cricket into the 21st century.
The pitches and cages were also constructed to a longer length than the ECB minimum, to provide increased protection to incoming bowlers while allowing extended run-ups.
Delivered on time and to budget while adhering to a variety of coronavirus restrictions, S&C Slatter proudly handed over the club’s brand new cricket nets – over 7 years in the making – in May 2021.
When speaking to Chris and Jim, two members of the club instrumental in the process, they explained that Alex’s care and expertise had been a key reason behind the selection of S&C Slatter to deliver the project, providing better communication and value for money than the other contractors they had been in contact with.
In terms of the popularity of the new facility, Jim explained that despite being unable to open the nets full time due to coronavirus restrictions, the nets are “packed” every evening they are open, with strong club use as well as external hire requests. He noted that without any direct marketing, word-of-mouth has already spread with news of the fantastic new facility on-site.
Chris highlighted the importance of this external hire as a revenue stream for the club, to maximise return on investment and ensure there are appropriate funds in place for future development and refurbishment.
S&C Slatter’s expert Cricket Division has helped Ashford Cricket Club to their goal of providing first-class cricket nets – built to the right orientation! – for club use and external hire, finally replacing the existing nets that were not fit for purpose.
Although over 7 years in the making, we’re thrilled that the hard work of everyone involved at the club – and our very own Alex Bennett – has paid off, to bring the club’s plans to fruition. We look forward to restrictions easing and the club being able to achieve maximum usage from their new nets!
Slatter Cricket & Play is a specialist division of S&C Slatter with an exceptional heritage in building cricket and play facilities, dating back to the company’s formation in 1991.
Projects range substantially in size, complexity and application but all continue to embrace and exhibit the same attention to detail and commitment to outstanding personal customer service.