BARROW Raiders’ new floodlights should be ready to light up Craven Park by the end of next month.
Work on the £60,000 project began this week with an electrical survey, and preparation for the erection of the six stanchions to replace the ones taken down last September is set to begin on February 2.
The light strength is expected to exceed the minimum requirement understood to be 300 lux and there will be room on each stanchion to add extra beams if required.
Abacus, an out-of-town company, have taken on the job which will see the culmination of years of fundraising work for the Floodlight Appeal, undertaken by lottery manager John Spoor.
Raiders received an unexpected boost last year for the floodlights fund – originally set at £100,000 – when Barrow Borough Council donated four pylons from the town’s Park Leisure Centre after former director and long-time supporter Eric Wood raised the matter with them.
That saving of approximately £40,000 – plus a further £10,000 raised by appeal fundraisers – allowed work to begin.
Raiders chairman David Sharpe thanked Spoor for the tremendous contribution he has made, saying: “Congratulations to John Spoor, he’s led the team raising the money, he’s done a massive amount of work.
“We’ve had a lot of donations and events that have put money into that appeal. We have been really pleased with how it has gone.
“Basically it is costing around the £60,000-mark, of which we have the funds in place, but of course we were very fortunate that we got the four floodlights given to us and that’s been a big help.”
Sharpe said that once work gets under way it should take a couple of weeks to complete the job.
He said of the lights: “Once they are up, they should be bright enough but there is additional space on the stanchions (for extra lights) if the regulations change.
“We are delighted. We are geared up to playing the night matches, it’s very good.
“It’s going to be a good atmosphere, the night matches played on Saturdays should be excellent.
“The feedback generally from people is that they are looking forward to it.”
As well as the floodlights being erected, the Raiders Bar has been refurbished and it has proved to be popular during the past two warm-up games.
“We have just completely renovated the Raiders Bar and that has gone down really well,” said Sharpe.
“We are going to look to utilise that, have little functions through the year.
“After the two games we have had it has been absolutely packed, it has been fantastic. There has been a big response.”
Sharpe has also been impressed by the on-field performances in the two pre-season friendlies which resulted in a 42-4 win over Whitehaven last week and a 38-20 success against Keighley Cougars on Sunday.
“I think it is a big confidence-booster for the lads,” said Sharpe, who praised the coaching staff and the atmosphere shown by the fans.
“I don’t really know what happened with Whitehaven last week. I think they had a weakened team and we felt that this was going to be the big test against Keighley, they have a squad that was pretty much the same as last year, and we stood up well to the challenge.
“We are not going to get carried away, because at the end of the day they are friendlies, but there was some exciting rugby out there. Some of the tries were a delight to watch.”
THURSDAY 18 DECEMBER 2014 Geoff Worrall has resigned from the Board Of Directors. Geoff has helped steer the Board through the last few turbulent years, with his wealth of knowledge being vital to the development of the club. Geoff informed The Chairman in the summer time of his intention to step down due to business and family commitments, but agreed to remain on the Board until the new player contracts were sorted. The BOD would like to wish Geoff all the best for the future, and thank him for all his hard work and dedication over the last few years.