Great Britain

New plane wing-inspired stand at AFC Darwen set for take-off

AN aerodynamic new stand for a football club with a 150-year history has been revealed.

The development at AFC Darwen’s Anchor Ground will include a sports-themed bar for social club and evening events; club office; multi-use room for lectures, training, fitness; boardroom; and sheltered area for fans with viewing balcony.

The new stand and clubhouse will have a roof shape inspired by an aircraft wing and will hold 690 spectators.

The design is revealed in a planning application to Blackburn with Darwen Council.

The stand is being partly paid for out of £250,000 for the Anchor Ground’s redevelopment obtained from the government as part of the Darwen Town Deal.

AFC Darwen was founded in 2009 as the successor to Darwen FC which dated back to 1870. It has 20 teams including for ladies and girls, juniors, veterans, the disabled and the deaf.

Chair of the town deal board, Wayne Wild, said: “Plans like these are really exciting for the whole town.

“Creating fantastic sporting facilities that can benefit the whole community. AFC Darwen is an important part of the fabric of the town.”

Club chairwoman Sarah Hindle said: “These plans will modernise the facilities – making them fit for a modern and successful club. It’s an incredibly exciting time for the club.”

A statement supporting the application says: “The proposals form Phase One of a renovation strategy for the Anchor Ground with new facilities including a ‘players’ bar, club office, and a multi-use room for lectures, training, fitness, boardroom. The new South Stand will give supporters on match days more shelter than is currently available and stands as a confident expression of the rejuvenation of the club.

“The roof shape is inspired by an aircraft wing giving a dynamic new form as the focal point of the architecture of the ground

“The use of the stand area remains unchanged as a viewing area for supporters.

“The clubhouse sits below the new roof of the south stand and is two storeys high.

“The proposed scheme will allow people to get to and move around on equal terms, regardless of age, disability, ethnicity or social grouping.”

Blackburn with Darwen Council regeneration boss Cllr Phil Riley said: “It is good to see town deal money being used for projects crucial to Darwen.”

He added: “This is particularly so as after Covid sport and getting into the fresh air will become even more important.”

Darwen East Liberal Democrat Cllr Roy Davies said: “This is a good thing for Darwen.”

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