An update from Chairman Paul Hornby!
With so much going on at the Furness Building Society Stadium in the past few weeks, Chairman Paul Hornby has penned the following message to supporters to keep you up to date with the ongoing improvements works at the ground!
“It’s hard to believe it just been 10 days since the season finished at Gateshead. We’ve hit the ground running in terms of work we need to do at the club in the close season and at times it’s hard to comprehend all that’s going on!
I’m sure that like us, all of our supporters are excited to see investment in the stadium. To this end we are extremely lucky that not only are our amazing volunteer team completing general maintenance, but are now taking on a lot of the larger tasks. As I keep mentioning, without their time, skills, and dedication we wouldn’t have been able to get through a fraction of the work (or have been able to afford to!).
Now we’ve had time to draw breath, I think it would be useful to run through the key projects we are trying to get completed in the next 2 months.
- West Terrace/North West Corner
The wall behind the West Terrace onto Wilkie Road was recently condemned, meaning it needed to be demolished for health and safety reasons. The terracing in areas was unsafe and parts had to be cordoned off on match days, so this was an opportunity to take it all away and flatten the area. The development of this corner will include a much better disabled area, pitch side barriers and a new wall and gate to the car park outside reception. The new 1901 Club, which the Bluebirds Trust recently launched, will make a significant contribution to this work so please sign up!
- Physio Room
The club have received a very generous donation from The National Supporters Club to extend and enhance our Physio room. At times last year it wasn’t the best environment for medical staff to be working in and this will be a vital improvement as Ian Evatt continues to bring an air of professionalism to the playing side of the club. The volunteers are carrying out most of this work and work this week has already made it a more usable and cleaner space.
- Hospitality Room Windows
This has been talked about for a long time and will improve the experience when coming along to games, as well as increasing daily room hire through the week. A Holden’s have generously agreed to provide and fit the windows for free, so this was a great opportunity to take this project forward. The Board are extremely grateful to Anthony for his support. I can also confirm that the directors will not be using on of these rooms on match days, and they will be in use for supporters and our fantastic sponsors.
- In-Stadium Room/Bar
I mentioned briefly at the awards evening we are looking to put a structure in the ground for fans on match days and a room we can use for functions or educational use in the day. We’ve had plans drawn up and are now working with the Football Foundation on getting this project funded. To prepare this area we are moving the containers and first aid cabin in the concreted area by the Nodding Gate to the back wall, along with the water tank.
- The Cross Bar
The bar is going to be promoted heavily going forward, with a view to being used much more extensively for functions to bring in crucial revenue. We’ve tried to improve the flow by moving doors and altering the general look by changing the décor and decorating the stairs and entrance lobby. Again, the volunteers have worked tirelessly on most of these changes. A special thank you to Elaine Warden and Peter Greenwood who have put in an incredible amount of hours taking the old wallpaper off to prepare it for being decorated.
The caging where the players come out has been removed and the area has been widened for a new pull out tunnel. This is all part of the improvement internally before entering the pitch, where we are redecorating and fixing new skirting’s which were all in need of repair.
All of this work is being overseen by Mark Hetherington and Rob Graham, with Kristian Wilkes providing much needed support in terms of labour, and his project management background. They are also using all their contacts to ensure we get the best prices on what work we do need to pay for.
When we came into the club at the end of last year we didn’t anticipate we’d be carrying out these projects and therefore what costs we have incurred have been outside our budget for 2019/20. We have said from the start that we’ll give this everything we’ve got, so the directors have introduced their own funds to pick up the shortfall in funding.
The reaction from the fans has been brilliant since we came in, and it’s especially pleasing to see how the football club is re-connecting with the town. All I would ask is that you support us in either buying a season ticket, buying a shirt, or if you are in business engaging in some form of sponsorship. This is the beginning of a story so let’s be in it together!”
You can enter the Bluebirds Trust 1901 Club HERE
You can purchase a 2019/20 season ticket HERE