Multi-million pound development project puts best foot forward with anti-slip decking

A £140 million shopping and leisure park in Northamptonshire, has used Antislip Plus Smooth decking from Marley to provide a durable and effective external anti-slip surface for visitors.

Rushden Lakes, at Nene Valley in Northamptonshire offers over 400,000 sq.ft of retail and restaurant accommodation, together with leisure activities which are all set against the backdrop of a lake. Since opening in 2017, the shopping centre and nature reserve has proved increasingly popular, welcoming more than 4.5 million visitors, with an estimated 30,000 people using the bridge at Rushden Lakes each month.

The unique project, which comprised a 30-acre development, also links up four existing nature reserves, identified as Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), to create the Nene Wetlands, a one mile square natural space for visitors and wildlife to enjoy.

As part of the project, more than 500,000 sq.ft of Marley’s Antislip Plus Smooth decking was used at the retail park development, creating a linear length of around 40km.

Gary Wilburn, director of design and sustainability at HPW Architecture, which led the design and development of the masterplan for the 244-acre site, explains why, when selecting a decking solution to meet the bespoke needs of the project, Marley’s Antislip Plus Smooth, was the obvious choice. He says:

“The unique nature of the Rushden Lakes development set an entirely new standard for the retail and leisure experience, and as such, we required a decking solution which would not only deliver enduring antislip properties, but one which would also seamlessly fit in with the wider natural surroundings.

“Having used Marley’s Antislip Plus Smooth previously, we were already reassured that the product could meet our bespoke needs but furthermore, meet the wider objective of the development project to ensure we used the highest quality specialised materials throughout.”

The timber decking boards are specifically designed to provide a durable and effective external anti-slip surface to minimise any risk of slipping – even in adverse weather conditions.

Marley’s Antislip Plus uses a unique formula of resin-based aggregate inserts, which are injected into the deck board grooves. For the smooth boards required by this project, grooves are specially machined into the boards to receive the inserts. They are treated to protect the decking and suit the project requirements.

Emily Dix, Marketing Executive at Marley, adds:

“For a project, such as Rushden Lakes, where huge numbers of visitors visit each year, Antislip Plus Smooth decking offers antislip properties which exceed HSL guidelines, but it also seamlessly blends with the surrounding environment, making it the perfect choice for retail and conservation areas alike.”

For further information on Marley’s Antislip Plus decking range, visit: