As part of its on-going extensive redevelopment programme, Accrington Stanley Football Club enlisted the support of leading canopy manufacturer, Canopies UK, for the creation of a brand new European-style fan zone.

The club has recently unveiled a raft of measures aimed at transforming almost every element of its grounds, which includes the creation of a new 1,500 capacity all-seater stand. The work will also see a new pitch being laid and new fencing and walls being installed to create space for additional perimeter advertising boards.

Providing fans with a pre and post-match base

As a community club, Accrington Stanley wanted to develop space behind the home supporters’ stand to create a dedicated outdoor zone specifically for its fans.

“They wanted to provide their supporters with an outdoor area where they can gather and socialise with each other, as well as enjoy something to eat and drink before and after matches,” explains, Ryan Powell, Commercial Area Sales Manager at Canopies UK.

“The club felt that canopies would be the ideal solution, as they would not only provide all-year-round shelter, but create an eye-catching focal point that would really add character and flair to the overall look and feel of the fan zone.”

Canopies UK specified two of its ground-mounted Connekt umbrella-style canopies for several reasons including the fact they would be large enough to cover the standing area within the fan zone. Each spanning five meters, the canopies were of the right dimensions to shelter 25m2 floor space.

Delivering the project with no extra time

With the start of football season looming, Canopies UK had to ensure the canopies were designed, manufactured and installed in record time.

There were just four weeks between initial contact and the new season getting underway, which involved Canopies UK pulling out all of the stops to deliver the project within the tight timescale.

“We effectively had to deliver a project that would typically take around eight weeks, in half the time and still maintain the highest possible standards,” added Ryan.

“However, due to the fact that we were local and are always keen to help the local community whenever we can, we relished the challenge and managed to install the canopies with a week to spare.”

Proactivity, organisation and flexibility were pivotal to Canopies UK being able to turn the installation around in record time.

The club was provided with an official quote on the same day as Canopies UK first visiting the site, and an official order just two days later. As a result of being given prior warning, Canopies UK’s operations manager was able to conduct the site survey one day after the official order had been submitted.

The project was then planned into Canopies UK’s production schedule by reallocating other jobs, while the umbrellas were manufactured in two and-a-half weeks and installed in a day.

Canopies that are engineered for purpose

Canopies UK engineers each of its canopies in accordance with site-specific calculations. Conducted by Canopies UK’s technical surveyor, the calculations encompassed a number of technical on-site measurements, including wind speed, obstructions such as drainage systems, nearby trees and roots, as well as the terrain in which the foundations would sit.

In addition to ensuring the canopies delivered from a practical perspective, it was essential they also delivered on an aesthetic level too.

Using its bespoke colour matching service, Canopies UK customised the Connekt canopies with the club’s colours. Alternating colours of red and white were used on the roof support beams to create a unique and tailored canopy installation in keeping with the club’s traditional strip.

David Burgess, Chief Executive at Accrington Stanley Football Club, said: “We’re absolutely delighted with the canopies, they’ve really brought the fan zone to life from both a practical and aesthetic perspective.

“Not only will they provide our fans with the shelter and shade they need from the elements before, and during games, they’re in our club colours, which gives the overall area a real sense of identity. They’re the perfect finishing touch for our fan zone and have been produced to the highest standard.”

For more information, contact Karen Hornby on 01254 777 002 (extension 221) or email Alternatively, further details can be found at
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