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Shrewsbury Town make history with first rail seat area in England

This is a story from the FSF archive – the FSF and SD merged to become the FSA in 2019.

Shrewsbury Town made history this week as they officially launched the first rail seating section in England and Wales.

Local and national media were invited to New Meadow on Tuesday to see the finished rail seating section, which has been installed in the ground’s south stand.

The seats were produced by local company Ferco Seating Systems and were installed last week, making Shrewsbury Town the first football club in England or Wales to incorporate safe standing into their stadium.

Shrewsbury Town chief executive Brian Caldwell said: “We are delighted to see it in here now and ready to be used.

“I think it looks fantastic. It looks better than I even hoped it would – I think it really stands out and is a real focal point for the supporters in the future.

“It’s really striking. It really looks like two stands within the one stand because of the colour and it’s quite dramatic. It’s a great view up here as well, looking down onto the pitch, so I’m sure it will be really successful.

“Once we can prove how successful it can be and that it’s giving the fans the choice, I hope it will be rolled out to other clubs and the law will change.”

Last year, the Sports Ground Safety Authority (SGSA) created a formal process to enable clubs with all-seater grounds, but not covered by all-seater legislation, to apply for licensing for rail seating. Shrewsbury Town were the first to be granted a rail-seat license under the new process.

£65,000 was raised for the Supporters’ Parliament-led crowd funding initiative which has seen 555 rail seats placed into the back five rows of the stand – the initiative was supported by the FSF.

FSF Standing campaign co-ordinator Peter Daykin said: “We’d like to congratulate Shrewsbury Town for listening to their supporters and delivering a dedicated standing area that meets their needs.

“Standing at football is a reality and Shrewsbury Town fans now have real choice in how they watch their football at New Meadow. We urge the Government to change the all-seater law to allow more clubs to offer their customers genuine choice.”

Thanks to the Safe Standing Roadshow for the image used in this article.

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Funding partners

  • The Football Association
  • Premier Leage Fans Fund

Partners

  • Gamble Aware
  • Co-operatives UK
  • FSE
  • Kick It Out
  • Level Playing Field
  • Living Wage Foundation
  • SD Europe