ARGYLE’S new grandstand has been given the seal of approval by the club’s disabled supporters.
The club has been working alongside Plymouth Argyle Disabled Supporters Association during planning for the refurbishment of the Mayflower Grandstand; PADSA’s views have been represented to the fans’ Green Army Grandstand Working Group, and the association has responded to consultative requests for comments on the project.
Also, earlier this month, Home Park hosted a meeting attended by representatives of PADSA, the club, and developers the Akkeron Group, at which a range of aspects of the planning process for the grandstand and the wider Higher Home Park redevelopment were discussed.
Following that meeting, PADSA Chairman Steve Helley, who attended along with Vice-Chairman Roger Daw, said: “Roger and I agreed that this was a very productive meeting, showing a very good understanding of the problems facing the disabled supporter.
“The group were very sympathetic to our requests and have incorporated nearly all of them within their plans. We continue to have good lines of communications and look forward to working closely with the club during the coming months.”
Argyle Chairman James Brent, Pilgrims’ Club Secretary and Head of Inclusion Zac Newton, and Akkeron Project Director Tony Hopwood confirmed to PADSA that the grandstand will not only meet the relevant statutory obligations, including those required by the Equality Act, but also that enhancements are being incorporated that go above and beyond the already high national standard.
These include: match-day parking at Home Park and a convenient drop-off point; increased numbers of disabled toilets; a higher than recommended number of seats for disabled supporters to provide a choice of viewing positions; reservation of seating near disabled supporters for family and friends; easy, multi-height access when using the ticket office; and wheelchair-friendly bars and furniture in hospitality areas.
The meeting concluded with Argyle and PADSA committing to continue to work together as the detailed design of the project develops. Zac and the club’s Disability Liaison Officer, Steph Barker, will be available to assist with enquiries about all aspects of the running of the club that relates to the needs and wishes of PADSA members, as well as all other supporters with specific requirements.