‘Stadium will look complete’ – Seats going into unfinished Lorne Street Stand



Work is underway to install seats in the unfinished part of the Lorne Street Stand.

The stand has been unfinished since the stand was opened 20 years ago, but fans will see a different picture when football does eventually return to Vale Park.

Vale owner Carol Shanahan explained that the two workmen have been complying with construction and social distancing guidelines.

The seats were ordered so they could be installed for the Robbie Williams charity concert on June 20. But while Vale are leaving announcements about that event to the promoters, they are pleased to be able to install the seating at Vale Park.

Carol Shanahan explained: “One of the things that we had already bought were the seats to go into the Lorne Street. Because it is classed as construction and that is allowed, and they are working outside, the two chaps there to install them have said they can observe all the regulations.

“I was watching them yesterday and they kept a safe distance from each other the whole time. So, they are able to put the seats in.”

The seats can’t be used for matches until a concourse is built behind that part of the stand at a cost of at least £100,000.

The supporters club had started raising funds towards that concourse project before the football season was suspended. But in the meantime, Carol is pleased that the ground will at least look finished with the installation of around 1,500 seats.

She said: “You often go to stadiums with areas where people aren’t seated. But to go to our stadium and just see this swathe of concrete has just looked like an eyesore.

“So, we would have a stadium that looks and is complete.”

As for the concourse behind that part of the stand, Carol said that and other projects will be reviewed as to when it could eventually be done. Vale are having to look at all their costs as they manage without the income from regular matches while the season is suspended.

The owner explained: “The fans have started to raise money to help us for the concourse, but at the moment we don’t know. Everything is going to be looked at as to what order we do things so I am not making any promises on that just yet.”

In the meantime, Vale Park has become the centre of a community hub with hundreds of meals and care packages prepared and delivered to people in the north of the city.

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