First details of new stand released
The first details of the proposed new stand to replace the old Bill Greaves (Cowshed) stand have been made public.
I hasten to add that this was not from the official site where there is no mention of it but from the pages of the Express & Star newspaper.
March 16th is the day when the club will know if their application for grant aid towards the construction of the new stand has been endorsed by the Football Foundation.
The Foundation last met in January but the un-resolved Wembley fiasco took up all of the time and the decision on our stand has now been deferred to later this month.
This has now shifted the build timescale by a few months and it will not be ready for the start of the 2002-03 season and even longer if we reach the play offs.
Under Football League guidelines, all clubs must have a minimum of 2,000 seats.
Harriers currently have 1,100 seats in the main stand, but the new stand will hold 2,400, increasing the grounds capacity by 500 to a total of 6,900.
Between 60% to 90% is available from the Foundation depending on how many facilities in the new stand will be community' based and Harriers are hoping for the maximum although there will be problems with the existing Sports and Social Club, which will now stay in its present position and not incorporated in the new stand.
This could stem from the rumour that the Social Club extended the lease on the land and building before the plans for the new stand were announced.
One of the club's director's, Barry Norgrove, a millionaire builder, said:
"Myself and Geoff Butler have had several meetings with the sports and social club and we now have a much better relationship with them.
They have agreed to give up their car park so we can put a crane in while the stand is built and as part of the deal we will make good the surface afterwards."
I take it from this that the plan for a bar where both sets of fans could meet up is now a non starter.
And once the crane has gone?? We don't get a full sized stand.
According to Norgrove the new stand will be around twice the height of the existing main stand, be around 15 rows deep and will be steeper than the other one.
It will be segregated to house away fans, with a separate toilet block and snack bar.
The structure of the stand will be such as to facilitate easy integration of the Social Club when that time comes.
The club have submitted tenders to three major constructors Barrs, Birse and McAlpine.
Lets hope that Birse don't get the job. They were the one's that built the new Cheltenham stand, late, and we don't want a straight copy of that do we.
The cost of the new stand will be between £1.3m to £1.5m and if the club got a 60% grant that would leave them to find £520,000 but if they were to settle for a cheaper stand then they would need to find less.
A 90% grant means that they would only need to find £130,000 and so could then afford a better stand.
The club are looking at sponsorship to help fund the stand but none has been forthcoming so far.
Barry Norgrove said;
"We are looking at sponsorship to cover the shortfall but we've been disappointed with the response so far, we haven't received a single response. We still need businesses to step forward.
They will receive maximum exposure. We are prepared to advertise across the back of the stand facing the Severn Valley Railway, put a firm's logo on the seats and even name the stand after a sponsor but we are desperate for people to show an interest."
Sounds like apathy to me! How about everyone going to the boss of the company they work for and asking them if they would be interested in sponsoring the stand.
They can only say no.
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