Synthetic pitch manufacturer to increase capacity following new investment

George Mullan

SIS Pitches, the Cumbrian synthetic turf manufacturer, has invested more than £500,000 in its Maryport manufacturing facility and a recruitment drive as part of an international growth strategy.

The firm produces premium hybrid, synthetic and natural pitches for an array of sports, including football, rugby, hockey, padel, Gaelic sports, multi-use games areas, tennis and cricket.

It has bought two new tufting machines which will more than double the site’s capacity to produce elite level sports surfaces from new and existing clients including Celtic Football Club, Rangers Football Club, Saracens Rugby Club and Loughborough University.

The investment follows three years of controlled growth, which has seen SIS Group – the business comprising SIS Pitches as well as specialist machinery and undersoil drainage divisions – grow turnover by an annualised 30% over recent years. This growth has seen the company increase the size of its team by more than 25% during the same period.

Last month saw SIS Group open a new office in Warsaw, Poland, from which a new business unit will be based with the remit to expand the company’s presence across Central Europe.

This move followed a similar investment in Saudi Arabia, where the opening of a new office in Riyadh coincided with SIS Pitches’ recent installation of the world’s first fully indoor hybrid pitch in just 21 days at Riyadh’s iconic Kingdom Arena.

Over the past 12 months alone, SIS Group has experienced significant growth in other emerging international markets.

The business grew its footprint in Georgia significantly following the successful installation and ongoing maintenance of 11 hybrid pitches for the UEFA Under-21 European Championships.

Similarly, it has also diversified its offering in the UAE through the provision of Padel courts in addition to baseball and equestrian surfaces across the country. Two new turf farms, in Saudi Arabia and Turkey, were also purchased to facilitate the production and transportation of SIS’s own turf to Eastern Europe and the Middle East.

The newer, more powerful tufting machines in Maryport will be used to manufacture SISTurf, SIS’s synthetic pitch product used by some of the world’s biggest sports teams, as well as schools, colleges and universities worldwide.

As well as increasing SIS’s own output, the move will also enable further sales to third-party installers.

In anticipation of further growth for versatile sports surfaces from its global client base, SIS Group has made six senior appointments.

Dan Meredith joins as Group Marketing Director, with Lucas Poen taking up the role of Operations Director. Simon Drury is taking on the role of Sustainability Manager, while Duncan Drury has joined as Head of IT. Dan Ramsdale has been recruited as SIS Project Manager for its specialist maintenance contracts service. Finally, Rafal Abel joins as the company’s new Business Development Representative for Poland and will be based in Warsaw.

CEO, George Mullan, said: “We are committed to the development of exceptional playing surfaces using the latest materials and manufacturing techniques. Our latest investment will make us more efficient and is a signal of our intent to grow, just as we experience sustained interest from some of the most recognisable names in sport.

“But this is also a commitment to our future as a UK-based manufacturer. With these new machines, we will be able to complete more projects at home and abroad. This will have a real impact at both elite and grassroots level, giving people more opportunity to participate in their chosen sport.”