The new seated stand at Silsden AFC has been a joint enterprise in terms of design and structural suitability, achieved by our ability to custom-build and many conversations with the club to ensure we delivered a stand they are 100% satisfied with. On completion, we've received a fantastic testimonial from John Lohan, vice chair, expressing the club's delight with their new addition.
It gives us immense pleasure to know we can turn doubtful and undecided into outright delighted! The club were not certain how they could achieve their initial vision, or even if it was possible, but we tweaked a few things along the way and by manufacturing in-house could make some last-minute changes without disruption to either production or deadlines. You know you've done a great job when the client is discussing extending the stand when you're still on site!
"During early 2019 we contacted the Football Foundation to see how much would possibly be on offer to our step 5 football club for ground improvements to maintain our ground grading certificate. We were advised that up to £100,000 could be applied for on a split spend basis of 2/3 FSF and 1/3 for us to us to find.
Our club president, and over the years major fundraiser, Barry Thomas, set about the task of planning, applying to the FSF for partnership funding and of course raising our side of the funding needed. Two years earlier we had a telephone mast added to one of our floodlights and ring fenced that amount for ground updates. We applied for grants from other companies offering various awards and soon had our share needed in place.
We had a site visit from the Football Foundation who agreed and suggested the projects we should be looking to replace. We had 4 significant areas/buildings, the biggest was to replace our 1930’s wooden stand.
Over the years this iconic building has stood proud welcoming people to our then village, now small town, as they entered on the main road off a major A road where it could also be seen from. Each year we did a little more to keep it “fan safe”, but its time had been spent now, wet rot, dry rot, and woodworm. It was time for a new stand and to decide exactly what we wanted, in size, layout, colour and of course, cost.
The rest of the plans for our huge replacement project was finalised in early 2020. Our local architect drew up our plans and we applied to the local planning office for approval. They just had the odd problem to solve and full planning was passed on the 27th April 2020, just weeks away from the Covid 19 shut down.
Through various avenues we had followed we found Stadium Solutions in West Sussex. We liked their product and past customer base, pro as well as semi pro, and the unanimous committee decision was made to go with them.
Our application, with all the documentation and outline planning at first due to environment concerns regarding flooding, went off to Football Foundation headquarters and within a week or two our application had been accepted in its entirety.
With our new stadium, from day one, we have had nothing but first class help, guidance, planning and general chats with Stadium Solutions to allay any fears we had. What seemed a huge problem to us turned into nothing but a standard solution they already had covered.
We decided on a 100-seater raised, some 2 foot or more off the ground for perfect vision. They recommended a dual double staircase for ease of filling and emptying the stadium. We added the Perspex ends as we are situated in a bit of a wind tunnel. Our deposit paid we were given an approx. delivery date and assembly. We had a site visit by Phill who answered any and all questions thrown at him and firmed up the assembly date, which they met.
We appointed a project manager, Andy Consoli, with building skills and knowledge from within our club committee and he began to plan, best he could with Covid, how we would best proceed. John Lohan Vice Chair and Andrew Phillips assisted in ensuring the build went smoothly.
The four new builds were to be a new roofed 100 + standing terrace adjoining the club, new ticket office, new hospitality suite and the jewel in the crown, our new 100-seater stand done out in the clubs colours of red and black. The various bases were done first, with building work on all the projects being laid/built by local companies. Delivery date for the stand was Monday 14th September 2020 and the workforce took just 4 days to fully complete it.
It has been in use, with Covid distancing recommendations, for our opening home fixtures to a great response from fans, home and away. We have nothing but praise and admiration for Stadiums Solutions and would recommend them 100% to anyone needing a reference on their work. They did everything we ordered, hit the delivery date and fulfilled the build in the time schedule they gave us. Our whole committee played a part in this new ground update and we feel with the help of Stadium Solutions we have left a legacy for generations to enjoy".
John Lohan, Vice Chairman for Silsden AFC