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First sports stadium to install Toro Lynx reports back

In 2013, Headingley Carnegie Stadium, the West Yorkshire home of Leeds Rhinos rugby club and Yorkshire County Cricket Club, was the first sports stadium in the UK to opt for Toro’s advanced irrigation system, Lynx. 

Four years on the sports venue has a new head groundsman, Ryan Golding, and here we talk to him about how he has found taking over the system, the installation of which placed the stadium at the forefront of sports pitch irrigation.

“Lynx was chosen by my predecessor Jason Booth as part of a £1 million pitch rebuild,” Ryan says. “He saw the reasoning behind having a high spec system for many reasons, but predominantly for its real-time intuitive control and water sustainability.

“It makes no sense spending thousands of pounds on a pitch and having a bog standard irrigation system. To join a stadium which had that vision and invested in a state-of-the-art system, which is still state-of-the-art, was brilliant.”

When Lynx was installed at the club, the idea was that the system would enable the club to access detailed and comprehensive information on all aspects of the pitch and its irrigation programmes, to monitor water, energy and other inputs and based on the findings introduce a more sustainable way to manage the pitch. 

Ryan confirms that as hoped, the Lynx system puts the pitch management team in control. The computer-based software is coupled to wireless soil sensors beneath the surface enabling effective planning and real-time adjustments to benefit plant health, playing surface conditions and to sync with other turf management regimes. 

“As I’ve said, part of the decision making process was based on how Lynx could help with water sustainability. Well, I can confirm that it is contributing in a big way. The efficient head-to-head sprinklers, soil sensing equipment, weather station system and integrated pump stations have had a big impact on how much water we use and on the club’s bottom line. Water off the mains is not cheap and it’s sensible not only for the environment, but also our budget to use the resource effectively. We’re making big savings and it’s improving grass-growing conditions, too.

“There are plans to put in place water holding tanks underneath the stands to harvest water from the stand roofs. The surface area there will collect a good amount of water to reuse,” Ryan tells us. “The important thing is ensuring the water is thoroughly cleaned as, in order for the collected water to be used for pitch irrigation, the salt content of the water, which can be high in rainwater, will have to be low enough to not damage and depreciate the irrigation system. I will test the nutritional value of the water every four weeks and from the results will be able to decide whether to use the water to irrigate the pitch or use it in the washrooms and showers. 

“The bottom line is Lynx gives us the power to make these kind of big-impact, long-lasting decisions, which is fantastic.”


#MyKubota is back and its bigger than ever

Kubota UK’s social media competition #MyKubota is back by popular demand and is offering fans the opportunity to win a Virgin Experience Day worth £500.

Following last year’s record number of entrants, #MyKubota 2017 is set to be the biggest to date. This will include an independent judging panel to review each and every entry, where not only will the overall winner receive a Virgin Experience Day of their choice worth £500, but the first 30 entrants will also receive a Kubota cap.

The winner will then be the focus of an in-depth #MyKubota video case study, shared on Kubota UK’s social media channels, detailing their love for their Kubota machine and how this helps them complete the challenges they face in the workplace, whilst offering publicity for their business.

To enter, fans on social media just need to send a picture of their Kubota with a small story explaining why they love their machine, tagging in #MyKubota. Running from Monday 7th August to Sunday 17th September, submissions will be received through Kubota UK’s Facebook and Twitter channels and the manufacturer is encouraging entrants to use their imagination and be as fun, creative or professional as they want to be.

Colin, last year’s winner with his submission of his dog Archie in his Kubota 1986 B7100D, commented: “I happened to see the competition on Facebook and thought this would be something fun to enter. It was easy to get a snap of Archie with the tractor, because he loves being driven around the farm in it, any excuse to save his legs!

“My Kubota B7100D is 30 years old, but it’s a first-class machine and it never lets me down. People who know me, know that I love Kubota machinery, but what I like about the #MyKubota competition is that it showcases all the different sectors in which Kubota machines are utilised and also the different applications in which the same machines are used.”

Marketing Manager at Kubota UK, Karen Tipping, said: “2017 marks the third year of the #MyKubota competition, which continues to help build Kubota’s thriving online community. This competition is a great way for us to strengthen our relationship with our customers and gives them the opportunity to share their experiences, which are spread over such a variety of applications.”

For more information on how to enter or stay up to date with Kubota UK’s social media channels:


Yorkshire stadium renamed after local business

A Brighouse-based payment services provider has signed a contract to become the new name for the local football ground.

Thornhill Brigg Mills-based Yorkshire Payments has secured headline sponsorship for three seasons of Brighouse Town AFC which includes renaming the ground to the Yorkshire Payments stadium.

As part of the lucrative five-figure three-year sponsorship naming rights deal for the Hove Edge-based stadium, plus sponsorship of the away kit, Yorkshire Payment’s company logos will feature on the team’s shorts and training kit. 

Brighouse-based Yorkshire Payments, a payment services provider, supplying businesses and business owners with electronic payment services, and situated at the town’s Thornhill Brigg Mills complex, will now also have their company name and logo on all club collateral, including the official team coach, letterheads, and stationery.

The club was originally formed in 1963, as a representative side of the Blakeborough Valve Company, the town's largest employer at the time. It then progressed in the Huddersfield Works League and moved to Green Lane, Hove Edge before joining the West Riding County Amateur League.

The club thrived in its latest location but when the land was sold for housing they moved to the present ground deeper into the countryside around Hove Edge off St Giles Road.

Upon the demise of the Blakeborough company in 1988 a new outlook resulted and a change of name to Brighouse Town AFC. 

Today, the Yorkshire Payments stadium has an impressive dressing room complex, clubhouse, stand capacity for 500 and a ground capacity of 1400. It also possesses a second pitch for under-21 football, junior girls football and Brighouse Town Ladies who made the third round of the Women's FA Cup last season. 

Yorkshire Payments boasts the position as the only independent service organisation of card payment solutions in the region, providing strong, local customer service to a range of Yorkshire businesses.

James Howard, founder of the young Brighouse business comments: “We at Yorkshire Payments are very much a company that wants to back everything surrounding the company here in Brighouse and the football club fits the bill nicely.”

Yorkshire Payments offer a variety of secure digital payment options from hand held terminals to online payment platforms. Operating from their Brighouse base they boast an impressive client base of more than 4,500 businesses who they provide simple, secure, and reliable payment solutions to.

Formed by young entrepreneur, James Howard in 2013, the firm ben with two staff members at a small base in a Halifax-based printing firm, they then moved to Jeremy’s above the Boathouse in Brighouse. From this small base, the firm has seen substantial growth.

James’s vision has remained to provide independent payment solutions to a range of businesses across the Yorkshire region and, having hit the ground running, Yorkshire Payments quickly progressed to employ seven full time staff members. Through fast growth the business expanded to new offices in September 2014 to their now current Brighouse base. Yorkshire Payments strong customer service has ensured they have grown at a phenomenal rate.

Brighouse Town’s chairman Charles Tolley says: “I am pleased that such a vibrant and growth company was coming on board with Brighouse Town and I look forward to a lasting and happy partnership with Yorkshire Payments.”

The heads of terms for the stadium naming contract is being drawn up by Leeds-based solicitors Frontrow Legal, and the in house legal team at Yorkshire Payments.

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