Gen 2 expands offering at King's House School Sports Ground

With a desire to expand the variety of sports on offer while maximising site capacity, King’s House School turned to S&C Slatter to deliver the design, planning and construction of two new sports facilities as well as an extension to their car park.

Key Achievements

  • Managed successful planning application process
  • Carried out full design and build works
  • Full-sized sand-dressed hockey pitch
  • 4x lane cricket net
  • Car park extension
  • Gen 2 surface for multi-sport usage
  • Additional semi-permanent line markings to suit seasonal sports
  • Interest in the site has increased ‘ten-fold’
  • New London Wayfarers Hockey Club partnership

The Challenge

King’s House Sports Ground is a unique 35-acre sports ground, not only used by pupils at King’s House School – an independent preparatory school – but by up to 10 different local state and independent schools to deliver sports curriculums for students across London.

With that in mind, the school approached the project from two perspectives: enhancing the facilities available to their own students, while increasing capacity and the variety of sports on offer from a commercial perspective, for schools and local clubs who also use the site.

“The goal behind the project was not only enhance the current facilities and maximise the number of users from schools in the local community, but also to upgrade a previously redundant area on site.”

– Natalie Wray, Commercial Operations Manager, King’s House School Sports Ground

When clearing some wasteland areas near redundant grass tennis courts and old bowling green, the school realised they had a surprisingly large area of under-utilised land that could be developed.

The school knew they wanted to use this space to build facilities not currently offered on site, to increase the number of available sports and capacity for schools. As with all sports construction projects, the new facilities would require planning permission. As a leasehold site on greenbelt land, the school knew that expert management of the planning application would be crucial.

The Solution

Considering the available space, the school decided to construct a full-sized hockey pitch (a sport that hadn’t previously been played on site) as well as a new non-turf cricket facility and extension to their existing car park, to accommodate the increased capacity on site.

With a dedicated in-house design and planning division, KHSG turned to S&C Slatter to manage the planning application and relevant designs for their new sports facilities and civil works. As sports construction specialists for over 30 years, the school chose to deal with one point of contact from start to finish, so once planning was granted, our construction teams mobilised on site. Our expert sports construction teams delivered the new all-weather pitch as well as a 4-lane cricket facility, with our dedicated surfacing and civils team carrying out the car park extension to complete the project.

“I wanted to work with S&C Slatter because they’re renowned in the industry and very well reviewed in the ISBA and bursars circuit. We were very lucky that we found the process very easy from planning through to construction and the final handover. I worked with Nick Seymour throughout who was brilliant, very clear on timings and the different steps along the way from planning through to completion.”

– Natalie Wray, Commercial Operations Manager, King’s House School Sports Ground

To maximise the offering of sports on-site, a Gen 2 surface was proposed for the full-sized hockey pitch. A sand-dressed surface, suitable for national league level hockey, the versatility of Gen 2 also allows the school to use the pitch for netball, tennis, mini-cricket, lacrosse and low-level football training, enhancing the revenue potential for both the pitch and site as a whole.

By implementing semi-permanent line markings as well as the permanent hockey lines, the school were able to minimise the number of lines on the pitch at any one time, while cycling the lines in line with seasonal sports each term.

The Result

The introduction of the new Gen 2 full-sized hockey pitch, cricket facility and car park extension at Kings House Sports Ground has allowed the school to offer new sports on-site while increasing capacity, enabling KHSG to take on more community hire, with external schools able to deliver their entire sporting curriculums on site.

“The addition of the new all-weather hockey pitch at King’s House Sports Ground has increased interest in the site ten-fold. The feedback has been excellent, both from other schools and King’s House School students, staff and parents. This [Gen 2] surface can be used for a whole range of different sports, but can still be used to host national league level, which is amazing and testament to the quality of the pitch type. “

– Natalie Wray, Commercial Operations Manager, King’s House School Sports Ground

The new pitch has also brought in new opportunities. A new partnership with London Wayfarers Hockey Club, the largest club in the country, means that the pitch is used for national league hockey training and match play, with the pitch also home to the London Area Masters hockey.

The addition of a 4-lane cricket facility has enhanced the delivery of one of King’s House School’s core sports, allowing pupils to warm up on the nets before moving to the adjacent table A for their fixtures, enhancing their match day experience. The new car park extension supports the demand for the new facility and wider ground, increasing capacity and allowing the school to “host larger events, allow additional coaches for school use and accommodate more evening and weekend activities.”

Despite all of the challenges brought about by the coronavirus pandemic and Brexit, our expert team delivered the project on time and to budget.

“S&C Slatter were amazing at ordering everything very early, foreseeing the challenges during the pandemic and ensuring the project came in on budget. Despite various restrictions in place – and challenges around materials and deliveries – our timescale was met on time and allowed students to start using it on the dates that had been communicated to schools.”

– Natalie Wray, Commercial Operations Manager, King’s House School Sports Ground

Our teams were delighted to work with Natalie and the team at KHSG to take this project from the initial idea right through to design, planning and construction and are thrilled with the feedback received.

“King’s House School Sports Ground has enjoyed working with S&C Slatter so much on the first project, with the professionalism, the skills and expertise that they’ve provided, that we’re now working with S&C Slatter again on delivering Phase 2!” 

– Natalie Wray, Commercial Operations Manager, King’s House School Sports Ground

We’re proud to have contributed to such a fantastic site that delivers for thousands of pupils across London each week, and look forward to working with the school again on phase two!


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