Seats installed in Lorne Street – and Port Vale reveal other ground improvements



Port Vale fans will notice a difference when football returns to Vale Park – after the club installed seats into the unfinished part of the Lorne Street Stand.

The stand was opened 20 years ago but the club ran out of money at the time to put in the seats.

However, 1,500 have now been fitted over the last few days with workmen keeping a safe distance and complying to coronavirus guidelines for construction work.

The club’s chief operating officer Claire Halket explained: “It is just amazing to see it is looking finished. I know there are a lot of people out here who have been waiting a long time to see those seats in situ. So, we are proud to be able to say we have been able to do it in our first season.”

The club have also been busy replacing seats in the Bycars and Lorne Street Stands. That’s part of a programme of general ground improvements that has also included new guttering on the Railway side of the ground, painting and redecoration and electrical and mechanical work.

Halket added: “It is so important that every season, when people come in they see a difference. It might be a small thing but hopefully it makes a big difference.”

Carol and Kevin Shanahan have been in charge at the Vale for 11 months, having bought the club from Norman Smurthwaite.

The new seats can’t be used for matches until a concourse is built in that part of the stand. The estimated cost is more than £100,000 and the supporters club is fund raising towards that.

Vale are having to budget carefully because the season has been suspended because of the coronavirus crisis. Vale are in talks with other League One and Two clubs this week about their options, but some clubs, including Crewe and Sunderland have already furloughed players and staff.

The new seats had already been ordered before the season was suspended. The club planned to use them for the Robbie Williams concert, which was scheduled for June, but has been postponed until the summer of 2021 because of the coronavirus pandemic.

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