CRICKET PITCH SIZED ENTRANCE MAT FOR BISHOPS STORTFORD SHOPPING CENTRE

24 October 2007

A primary barrier mat the size of a cricket pitch, and one of the largest installed in Europe, is helping to keep the main entrance of the new extension to the Jackson Square Shopping Centre in Bishops Stortford buzzing with happy shoppers.

The Esplanade Plus barrier matting is 22 metres wide and 3 metres deep, and was supplied and fitted by Gradus, working with the flooring contractor Town & Country Flooring of St Ives, Cambridgeshire. A heavy-duty mat, Esplanade Plus is designed for high volumes of pedestrian and wheeled traffic, making it ideal for busy retail environments.

Specified with Latte (brown) wipers to complement the adjoining floorcovering, the matting was fitted in a “brickbond” pattern so that the joins between the separate sections are not visible, providing an uninterrupted visual appearance that helps to keep footfall flowing in the new centre.

In fact, over 100,000 shoppers are estimated to have walked over the matting in the opening Bank Holiday weekend alone, as shoppers were drawn to the new 73,000 sq ft Sainsbury’s store, which is the “anchor” for the development. A regular stream of new retailers and food/restaurant outlets is now moving into the centre, which is a Wilson Bowden Developments project, designed by architects Broadway Malyan.

Jackson Square Shopping Centre Manager, Grace Bagster commented:

“We have opened with a flying start, with shoppers drawn into the new centre by the high quality retailers. The main entrance is particularly wide to allow easy flow of visitors into the centre and gives direct access on to the travelator, which services the main retail outlets, so it has to withstand heavy footfall.

“With the poor summer weather, it’s also been vital that the matting removed and retained dirt and moisture to prevent visitors’ slipping and helped to keep the rest of the floor surfaces clean during the day. So far, it’s been a great success.”

At the rear of the centre in a new public square, Wilson Bowden City Homes also developed 200 apartments, with a mix of properties for private sale and affordable housing. Gradus also supplied and fitted Topguard primary barrier matting in the entrance wells to each of the three blocks of apartments.

In addition, Town & Country specified Gradus stair edgings for each of the six communal staircases in the residential development, in line with The Building Regulations 2000 Approved Document M guidelines for improving staircase safety by reducing the risk of slips, trips and falls.

David Bufton, Contracts Manager for Town & Country Flooring, said:??“We have worked closely with Wilson Bowden for many years and we provided the floorcoverings for the shopping centre entrances, all the apartment communal areas and for the letting apartments.

“Given the size of the main entrance at the shopping centre and the way footfall would flow as people headed for the travelators, we knew we needed very durable matting in a colour that would match the overall scheme. We also had to be certain that the matting would not lift or curl at the edges if it was laid as separate mats.

“Gradus has been a supplier for many years and we have worked closely with them throughout the project, as they offered a complete project management service, from site measuring through to installation. They recommended a “brickbond” laying pattern, staggering the individual mats and interlocking them, so that the first impression is one seamless mat, which is literally the size of a cricket pitch. We were all pleased with the result.”

David adds: “Specifying Gradus’ stair edgings and trims on the residential stairwells was also an easy decision. With the quality of Gradus products, there is no risk of worn or slippery stair edges, so it gives us complete peace of mind.”

Esplanade Plus is a primary barrier mat constructed with an aluminium base, supported by rigid PVC-u bridging strips, which provide good point loading. The aluminium scrapers are interspersed with 100% nylon wipers, which provide optimum moisture and dirt retention. The product has been tested with heavily laden trolleys, high heels and has a B1 fire rating as standard.

Topguard is manufactured from rubber wipers interwoven with nylon fibres and linking strips in either aluminium, PVC-u or brass, bound with galvanised steel wires.

Gradus supplies a complete range of matting systems for shopping centres, airports, hospitals, educational buildings, banks, cinemas and many other high traffic areas.

A specialist in contract interior solutions, Gradus also offers an extensive portfolio of flooring accessories, wall protection, floorcoverings, soft furnishings and lighting.

For further information on the full range of barrier matting available from Gradus, contact Gradus Customer Support on 01625 428922.