Hucknall Town’s main stand is open for business again

OPEN FOR BUSINESS AGAIN -- the main stand at Hucknall Town's Watnall Road ground.
OPEN FOR BUSINESS AGAIN -- the main stand at Hucknall Town's Watnall Road ground.

Hucknall Town’s main stand is open to supporters again, bringing to an end a long wrangle over its safety.

The stand, which had a maximum capacity of 860, including 270 seats, has been closed for most of the season after Notts County Council refused to issue the club a safety certificate.

But work has now been carried out to bring it up to scratch, while the stand has been removed from the constraints of guidelines that forced the council to take action.

Under those guidelines, the council had a duty to inspect and rate all covered stands at sports venues that hold more than 500 people. Certificates cost £3,700, and Town found themselves bracketed alongside the county’s three professional football clubs, Nottingham Forest, Notts County and Mansfield Town. Now the club have split the stand into sections, none of which has a capacity of 500.

Yellows fans have welcomed the move, which is expected to boost crowds at Watnall Road home games.

“It’s another hurdle cleared and another box ticked,” said Town manager Andy Graves as the club continue the recovery from their well-documented debts-crisis.

“Obviously, we still have to keep the stand safe. But we don’t need a special certificate because it is no longer one continuous stand.”

Town’s crowd-figures are already among the best in the Central Midlands League, and better than many clubs higher up the non-league ladder.