Whatever to do with the Stratton Bank?
Two and a half years ago, Trust STFC launched our ‘Raise the Roof’ initiative, with the expressed intention of regenerating a stand which is falling quickly into disrepair and now only occasionally used as a pen for away supporters.
The campaign has, understandably, had its detractors. Some feel money is better off used elsewhere and that, given attendances of late, developing that end is unnecessary.
Here, Trust chairman Steve Mytton explains just what has gone on behind the scenes with our Red Army Fund efforts – of which the ‘Raise the Roof’ campaign was an element, and we ask you: What should be done with the Stratton Bank?
‘The Red Army Fund got off to a good start, attracting a hundred or so contributors very quickly – however the flow of sign-ups slowed to a dribble over the course of the following year and we also lost a few along the way,’ Mytton said.
‘Unfortunately the flagship campaign to “Raise the Roof” over the Stratton Bank has, as you have pointed out, been less than successful and although we’ve never gone overboard on the promotion of the roof, we recognise that we made some mistakes and expectations were set too high, too early.
‘In terms of the roof itself, the initial target was for 1,000 fans to support the Red Army Fund at an average of £8.50 a month (a mixture of £25, £10 and £5 a month donations), bringing £100,000 a year into the coffers and over a three-year period we would raise £300,000 through supporter donations.
‘We currently have around 125 RAF contributors, nowhere near enough. The Trust board all contribute on a monthly basis, however we have to keep trying to get more people interested and build up the pot.
‘Given that fans of Grimsby Town and Portsmouth raised a combined total of almost £400,000 towards their club within just a few months, it did not seem an unrealistic ambition to aim for a larger sum over a much longer timeframe. For whatever reason though, the idea did not ignite the excitement of Town fans and we fell well short.
‘We have not stopped working, despite these setbacks. We have been in conversation with various bodies and looking into options around the County Ground and the roof ever since.
‘We have approached the club about improvements to the disabled facilites at the club and we are also working with Supporters Direct on some items that are of significant long-term interest to all Town fans.
‘Additionally, board member Mike Welsh has been busy putting together plans for regenerating the Stratton Bank facilities without a roof.”
But what do you want from the Bank? Let us know below.
The stand has fallen into a terrible state of disrepair - away from the seating area itself - and could do with a tart-up.
With or without a roof, do you think it is worth the expense? And who should use it after it's fixed, if it ever is?