English League Two football club Harrogate Town has announced plans to invest £3.5m (€4.1m/$4.4m) to improve its infrastructure, with work to include a new seated stand at the EnviroVent Stadium.

The investment is already underway and will be phased over the next calendar year. The new stand will feature an increased capacity and the plans also include a new bar in the home supporters area, as well as an extension of the stadium’s corporate hospitality area.

Harrogate finished the 2021-22 season 19th in League Two. It marked the club’s second season in the English Football League after promotion from the National League in 2020.

With a capacity of 5,000, the EnviroVent Stadium (formerly Wetherby Road) is the smallest in League Two and the £3.5m investment is designed to meet the board’s ambition to create a sustainable and thriving club.

Harrogate was forced to start the 2020-21 season at Doncaster Rovers’ Keepmoat Stadium while a new pitch was installed at the EnviroVent Stadium. The stadium previously featured a synthetic pitch, which is against EFL rules.

Harrogate recently installed new energy-saving LED floodlights at the EnviroVent Stadium. The pitch has also been removed and relaid, while a new ticketing system will be announced soon.

Sarah Barry, chief executive of Harrogate, said: “This is a really exciting time for our club. It’s now two years since we were promoted to the EFL for the first time in our history. As we come out of the pandemic and get back to regular fixtures and crowds, the time is right for us to invest in our future.

“Our proposals stem from listening to feedback from fans in a number of areas. Easier ticketing, better flow through turnstiles and an improved refreshments offering are some of the suggestions that have been made and have been taken on board.

“We want to enhance the match-day experience for our loyal and dedicated supporters who make this club. We’ve seen bigger crowds, welcomed more young families and teenagers to the EnviroVent Stadium lately and we want to sustain and grow this, retaining and attracting our committed supporters of the future.”

More details of the stadium improvements will be announced as the plans come to fruition.

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