SCX prepares to install a second roof at Wimbledon for 2019 tournament


Sheffield engineering specialist SCX is preparing to install a retractable roof over Wimbledon’s No.1 Court in time for the 2019 Championships.

SCX Special Projects was awarded the contract in 2016 after designing, assembling and installing a similar retractable roof over Wimbledon’s Centre Court in 2009.

After this year’s Championships, the trusses for the folding roof will start to be raised into position over No.1 Court.  The retractable roof is part of a multi-million pound redevelopment which will mean that like Centre Court, No.1 Court will guarantee play whatever the weather.

Andy Whitworth, Director of SCX Special Projects said:“The roof over No.1 Court is another landmark project for SCX and an iconic example of the engineering solutions and skills we employ.

“SCX is now recognised as one of the leading builders of moving structures in the UK and this contract has helped to take our order book to record levels.”

The steel roof trusses for No.1 Court, each weighing 80 tonnes, were made in Sheffield and delivered to Wimbledon before the latest Championships. They are being stored on two former practice courts ready for installation and mechanical and electrical testing by SCX’s engineers.

Robert Deatker, Estate Director at the All-England Club, said the project to build a new roof for No.1 Court was two-thirds through the main construction and, when ready, would be “a big moment in the Club’s history. “It’s an impressive stadium in its own right and will create a whole new atmosphere for people coming to No.1 Court.”

SCX has refined its highly successful concertina design used for the first retractable roof over Centre Court. The new No.1 Court roof uses 11 steel trusses in two sections, with transparent Gore Tenara (a type of Gore-Tex fabric) stretched between them, allowing light into the stadium while keeping it weatherproof. It can be fully deployed or retracted in around eight minutes.

SCX is responsible for design and supply of all the mechanical and electrical equipment, and for the construction of all the components that make up the moving sections of the roof.

Around 220 electro-mechanical devices, including motors, along with a control system capable of working to accuracies of a fraction of a millimetre are needed to ensure the roof operates smoothly and quietly.

Much of the preliminary construction, assembly and testing work was carried out at SCX’s new Tyler Street facility in Wincobank, Sheffield.