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The Sky's the Limit for new Rooftop Pitch at Blackburn Youth Zone The Sky's the Limit for new Rooftop Pitch at Blackburn Youth Zone

The Sky's the Limit for new Rooftop Pitch at Blackburn Youth Zone

The new Blackburn Youth Zone development, supported by central Government funding, is a once in a lifetime project that has been designed to broaden the leisure and arts opportunities available for young people in the very centre of Blackburn. Thornton Sports are proud to have played a part in delivering this state-of-the-art facility through the design and installation of an innovative rooftop 5-a-side football pitch incorporating their SudsSports combined sustainable drainage and sports surfacing system.

The SudsSports units form a lightweight raft construction for the pitch base that is easy to install and which helps keep the onsite construction programme time down to a minimum. The SudsSports also provides temporary water storage and allows the flow of rainwater from the roof deck into the rainwater gutters and ground level drainage system to be controlled to a rate of four litres per second during intense storm events.

Thornton Sports were able to offer a cost effective, practical solution to what some might view as a logistically problematic project. David Murray, Operations Manager for Thornton Contracts comments on the project, “When we first heard about the project at Blackburn Youth Zone we were more than ready for the challenge. We knew our SudsSports units would be the perfect design solution for the rooftop pitch.”

Thornton Sports were also able to supply and install their own SoccerTurf™ 50 M 3rd generation synthetic grass. SoccerTurf™ 50 M has a 50mm pile height and looks, feels and plays like natural grass. Manufactured at Thornton Sports’ in-house production facility at Altham, Lancashire, it uses a monofilament type yarn which is the FA’s standard yarn choice due to its excellent durability and performance qualities.

The new Blackburn Youth Zone is already turning heads with the facility recently making its television debut on BBC1 when it was officially opened by Prince Edward, and, as it is open 365 days per year, the rooftop sports pitch is sure to be used extensively by local youngsters.

For more information on SudsSports please visit the Thornton Sports website at or email

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