Following Queen of the South’s successful promotion to the Scottish Championship, a decision was made to lay a new surface at Palmerston Park in preparation for the new 2013 /14 season.

Malcolm Sports Surfaces, a division of Malcolm Construction, was selected to undertake the works based on its vast experience of synthetic pitch laying, which already includes some notable installations such as the pitches at the Celtic Training Academy in Lenoxtown.

Like any aspiring Club we want to provide a playing surface for our team and indeed our visitors which will assist a fast attractive game while enhancing the spectator experience, said Billy Hewitson, Chairman, QoS. Malcolm Sports Surfaces recommended a 3G woven bladed carpet system, as a surface of such resilience as to be able to withstand the rigors of the professional game and provide a reliable and consistent playing surface in all weathers.

These factors were reinforced on a familiarisation visit to Poland where Queen of the South’s Manager and Chairman were able to see the woven carpet system in situ. So, impressed were they by its look and performance that they immediately upgraded their original specification to the proposed Malcolm standard.

This is the first installation of its kind in the UK, the real secret of any successful artificial pitch lies in its sub-base and Malcolm Sports Surfaces has worked with Queen of the South through the design stages to ensure this pioneering project not only benefits from our extensive experience but also the latest groundwork technologies, to provide a truly leading edge surface.

The first redevelopment stages required Malcolm Sports Surfaces to dig out the existing grass pitch, level and insert drainage in preparation for the new pitch construction, which was undertaken using Malcolm’s own laser guided equipment. This was followed by the installation of tar foundation layer, a shock pad and finally, the laying of the synthetic carpet system. All in all, the whole installation process took no more than 45 days start to finish.

Queen of the South’s investment in pitch, lighting and fencing is expected to be repaid in just ten years. But now, with a reduced pitch maintenance requirement and increased commercial usages envisaged.

At Palmerston Park, Queen of the South may be cutting new ground but Malcolm Sports Surfaces forecasts their progressiveness is likely to spark a wave of change, which can only be positive for Professional Football in Scotland, with wider adoption of synthetic carpet systems expected to be the norm within the next five to seven years.

In the meantime, one additional interesting feature of this new carpet technology is the LOGO weave-in opportunity, which the Club and Malcolm Construction have taken full advantage of. As a reflection of this successful project and their working partnership both Malcolm Construction and Queen of the South have their marques indelibly made in the playing surface for all to see.