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Case Studies

Peterborough United Football Club, Air-Supported Structure and 3G Pitch

​Rolton Group has been working alongside Peterborough United Football Club (PUFC) on plans to expand the idverde training ground, home to PUFC at Nene Park Academy. This includes new public utility supplies, civil and infrastructure and a 3G playing surface with an 11m, air-supported structure (dome) to house it.

We are proud to have been appointed direct from the client on such a project, providing geotechnical, civil, structural and MEP building services design consultancy services for the expansion, which also includes an upgraded and extended car park alongside the provision of new accommodation featuring changing rooms, WC’s and educational facilities.

Our engineers worked within the constraints of an active site to deliver the £1.7 million-pound scheme. The Geotechnical team identified the area was clear of obstructions and no significant contamination, therefore ‘de-risking’ the possibility of unforeseen costs associated with the ground works and allowing for greater cost certainty.

The Civil team provided surface water drainage design from planning through to construction. Following a late objection during the planning approval process, the drainage strategy had to be adapted to meet local authority requirements. Within a week, the team liaised and agreed a hybrid system with the Lead Local Flood Authority, which incorporated a high-level overflow as the ground conditions were variable.

The Structural team provided a reinforced ground ring beam design to the perimeter of the air-supported structure, to minimise the construction time a steel fibre mesh was adopted in lieu of traditional reinforcement cages, saving over two-weeks on the installation time.

The MEP team had to ascertain the feasibility of bringing new public utility supplies onto the site to support the project. Once detailed load calculations were complete, the team provided new electrical supplies with new natural gas supply and a new high voltage transformer substation rated at 500kVA to support the existing training facility and the development of the air-supported structure with spare capacity for the future ‘five-year plan’ for the training ground. A full external lighting design for the new car park spaces and air-supported structure was also completed to integrate with the existing carpark and training facility lighting.

Peterborough City Council approved the plans in Q3, 2021, which was part of the criteria that has enabled the PUFC Academy to attain FA Category Two status, the second highest available in the UK. This means that the club is entitled to greater investment by the FA and Premier League than what was previously available to them as a Category Three Academy.

The club has been working closely with local school, Nene Park Academy, and now that the project is complete, the students will benefit from having exclusive access to the facilities between 9am and 3pm during term time. The newly improved training ground will also be accessible to the general public and it is envisioned to be used by adults living in the surrounding areas to support people suffering from mental health, for walking football and for disability groups, adding real value to the local community.