Work begins on re-development of stand at Harrogate Town's CNG Stadium
Work has begun on re-developing the Family Stand at Harrogate Town’s CNG Stadium as the club look to bring their ground up to Football League standard.
The Wetherby Road outfit are replacing the existing 350-seat structure with a stand that will enable 880 spectators to sit under cover while taking in matches.
The improvements will increase the stadium’s capacity to above the 5,000-mark and mean that there will be more than 1,000 seats in the ground – minimum requirements for entry into League Two, should Simon Weaver’s team realise their ambition of promotion from the National League.
“Apart from meeting future EFL criteria, the new stand will provide significantly more seating so that we can accommodate more families and supporters that would prefer to sit than stand to watch their football,” Town chairman Irving Weaver said.
“We are focused on continuing to improve the match day experience for supporters.”
Town’s new stand will feature a concourse with a food outlet and bar area as well as male and female toilet blocks.
The project is being delivered by firms local to the region, including Evora Construction, Harrogate Steel, Bowman Riley Architects and Structsure Engineers. Work is expected to be completed by mid-July.
Town were second behind Barrow in the National League standings when the 2019/20 campaign was suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic.
All remaining regular-season fixtures in English football’s fifth tier have since been cancelled, and it remains to be seen how issues of promotion and relegation will be determined.
Simon Weaver’s men could yet end up playing in League Two in 2020/21, but even if they do, they would still have until the end of March next year to get their ground up to scratch.
That the club has opted to make a significant investment in future-proofing its home is however a sign of Town’s ambition, according to their manager.
“This is another signal of intent,” Simon Weaver said.“It’s another of the building blocks in place that we hope will help to take us where we want to be.
“Hopefully it shows supporters and everyone in Harrogate that while we are striving to achieve promotion, we are continuing to improve our stadium, receiving EFL approval for ground capacity.
“We also want to encourage more family involvement on match day, and having additional seats in the Family Stand will enable us to do that.”