Northampton Town Football Club are pleased to announce that work is set to begin on the East Stand with Phase One scheduled to be completed by the end of the season.
Phase One will see 1,924 seats put back into the East Stand and is expected to be completed by the start of April ready in time for the final home games of the season.
Chairman Kelvin Thomas said, "I think the development of the East Stand has been the single most asked question since we took over and understandably so. I think everyone at the club is just fed up with looking at that empty stand.
"It's also fair to say that the position on the East Stand was a lot different to what we were led to believe during the takeover and therefore has been more challenging than we would have hoped.
"However there has been a lot of work done in the last couple of months and working closely with Buckinghams we are very excited to confirm publically that together we are starting the process of putting the stadium back together. It is important to us all that the club has a four sided stadium again and this is the beginning of that work.
“Getting the right solution for the next phases of the stand and possible Conference Centre will still take some time as we continue to discuss plans, designs and options, plus there are also some legal issues that still need to be taken care of, but we felt it was very important, listening to fans, that we were able to start work as quickly as possible by at least putting some seats back in.
"With this phased approach we can also hopefully benefit from these seats as we finish the season, and whilst doing it this way will incur some additional cost we would hope to mitigate some of that with the possible increased income from those final home matches.
“We also felt it was important that this was not just a temporary solution and that it formed the beginning of the overall development of the East Stand so these are seats that will form part of the new stand when completed. Some of the access areas and walkways will have a temporary feel, but catering and other facilities will be serviced by the existing facilities and the Fans Village behind the North Stand.
“Unfortunately we will still not be able to use the upper level disabled platform initially because of a lack of concourse, lifts and safe access, however the platform still forms an important part of the overall development for the next phases. The disabled area at the front of the East Stand will be available again on completion of Phase One.
“Work on this project has already begun, seats have been ordered and more importantly paid for, and we are working closely with the Safety Advisory Group to confirm how many we can use for each match.
“Once we have that confirmation we can then release details of packages and ticket sales for the final home games as we expect these to be very popular. All details will be on the website, the club’s social media channels and shared with local media as soon as possible.”
Manager Chris Wilder said: “It is great news for the club that the seats are going back into that stand. As coaches and players we always want the best atmosphere and at times it has been tough with that stand empty, but it is going to be fantastic for the players to see supporters over there again.
“We want as many people as possible to be able to come and cheer us on, we face an important final 14 games and having supporters in the East Stand will be a big boost to us all.
“Our support has been fantastic this season and hopefully we are repaying that somewhat with our performances. I have really appreciated the backing we have had from the new owners in a short space of time, from stabilising the finances, to the recruitment in the transfer window, and now with work restarting on the stadium, it is great to see the club moving forwards both on and off the pitch.”