Last week, Landways handed over its new high-resolution, IP-based CCTV installation to Gloucester Rugby’s operations team. The project was the first additional service to be deployed across the core digital infrastructure installed at Kingsholm Stadium in 2018, proving the concept of a multi-use digital infrastructure.
“Landways’ digital infrastructure is a highly cost-effective way for venue owners to bring the benefits of digital technology to their customers. Our mission is to avoid the “rip and replace” projects inherent in short-term technology investments. We design the underlying infrastructure in a way that supports multiple system usage and a planned cycle of upgrades and technology refreshes. Our infrastructure was initially deployed at Kingsholm to support the club’s new high-density Wi-Fi network: it is great to see it also being used for the club’s high-quality new CCTV platform” said Chris Smedley, Chief Executive of Landways.
CCTV is not the only technology that can be deployed over Landways’ infrastructure. “Our use of on-site data centres, power equipment and deep optical fibre in these sites allows us to quickly and easily deploy a wide range of digital services from high-quality video screens to innovative digital audio solutions,” said Mr Smedley.
At Gloucester Rugby, Landways found a forward-thinking team, looking to use technology to enhance the security arrangements at Kingsholm. Lee Ferraby, Finance Director for Gloucester Rugby said, “CCTV was a project we wanted to address; after a comparison of suppliers, Landways’ proposition provided unique advantages and was a natural extension to the previous work they had completed.”
The rapid deployment time offered by Landways was particularly important. The club was keen to avoid disruption to its business given that the project was being delivered during the current season. However, there were no complaints from the club on this front.
“Most of the staff didn’t even know that the new CCTV system was being installed. It happened quickly and there was no disruption to our usual operations. This project has been a great testament to the benefits of the Landways infrastructure and the onsite project team completing the installation. Our team is delighted with the completed project,” said Mr Ferraby.
A local contractor involved in the project installation said that this was the fastest project of its type that they had been involved in. “A traditional CCTV installation would usually involve at least 10 weeks on-site for a project of this scale. We were able to complete in only three weeks. It’s unheard of.”
Installing the new CCTV system on to the existing Landways digital infrastructure saved approximately £25,000 and was delivered ahead of time. “The project was an exciting opportunity to further demonstrate to the market the underlying value of the Landways digital infrastructure,” said Mike Dixon, Head of Projects for Landways.
Feedback from the club’s Operations team has been positive: staff are particularly impressed with the quality of the images and functionality of the PTZ (Pan Tilt Zoom) cameras. “During the handover of the system, the Match Control operators enthused about the ease of operation and the ability to interrogate areas of the stadium that hadn’t previously been possible. Doing so autonomously or retrospectively added an important new capability,” said Howard Beckman, Head of Operations at Landways.
“With such clear images, we will be able to capture and review events in real-time. This is so important for fan safety; we can coordinate our teams on the ground to provide a faster response and de-escalate situations before they become a problem,” said Helen Grayer, Gloucester Rugby’s Operations Manager.
Safety for players and match attendees has been in focus across the nation recently with technology like CCTV helping to identify and prosecute against examples of inappropriate behaviour. The system has already been used to keep the Gloucester community safe, with a recorded incident outside the ground shared with police in November.
“We often have more than 11,000 people in attendance on match-days; ensuring fans are safe while enjoying their in-stadium experience is an important part of my role. The new CCTV system will play a key part in enabling myself and my team to observe fan behaviour among our passionate community of supporters” said Helen Grayer.
The new system is unlikely to be noticed by fans, it is astonishingly discreet and non-intrusive. But for the operations staff at Gloucester Rugby, the difference going forward will be clear.
For more information on the Gloucester Rugby digital infrastructure project, click here.