Fleetwood’s new £4.5m stand opens

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A major part of Fleetwood Town’s new £4.5m stand will open tomorrow and has been hailed as a dream come true by supporters.

The 1,800-seater facility will drive the Highbury Avenue Stadium capacity to 5,500 and fit in with Fleetwood’s goal of getting into the Football League.

The new stand at Fleetwood

The new stand at Fleetwood

When Town face Altrincham in the Blue Square Premier League tomorrow, seven plush hospitality suites will be in use as will much of the seating.

Supporter John Lemon said: “It’s fantastic.

“I have been watching it go up from day one when they knocked down the old social club and it’s wonderful to see. The new bar area – Jim’s Bar – is good but this stand will be even better.

“Hopefully, in the future, we can get crowds of more than 5,000 on there.”

Another supporter, Dave Buston, has taken a hospitality box for the game against Barrow on April 25 with 11 friends from Fleetwood Golf Club.

He said: “We’ll have a great day. The stand is absolutely brilliant. It’s the best thing to happen to Fleetwood Football Club – it’s a different world.

“When the crowd are in the ground and shouting there is a really good atmosphere.”

Much work has still to be done on the stand – including offices, changing rooms, physio room and shop – and a grand opening will be held during a friendly match before the start of next season. But the main parts of the structure will be on view tomorrow as Town continue to chase their fifth promotion in seven seasons.

Club chairman Andy Pilley said: “It’s very exciting. It’s a huge thing for the town and it’s a great thing for the town. It will bring in jobs and the facilities will be something everybody can enjoy. I think when you build a stand or facilities it’s a reflection of where you expect to be in future years.

“We have built a stand which is fit for the Football League.

“When we open it, it will be a bit emotional because we wanted to transform the ground and now it’s a stadium which the town can be proud of.”

The jobs will come when offices inside the stand are completed and Mr Pilley will be able to bring in 80 people who work for his gas and electricity supply company.

There will also be other posts for people working in hospitality, reception and other areas.