WORK to upgrade the main stand seats at the Avenue Stadium is “significant” for Dorchester Town, chairman Scott Symes insists.

With the Magpies’ ground celebrating its 30th anniversary this season, club officials were keen to undertake improvements to the stadium.

This week work has begun to remove around 700 existing black and white seats, with box fresh replacements set to be installed in time for a return to playing action.

Dorchester have been able to commence the task amid a three-month pause in Southern League fixtures, running to Saturday, March 6.

Symes told Echosport: “There was a sense of urgency to start to get things moving.

“There’s the improvements on the pitch but also off the pitch, financial management and lots of different things to introduce at the club.

“Being the 30th anniversary of the stadium we wanted to do something significant in regards to revamping it. The seats were an obvious choice.

“We applied for a grant some time back and they take a bit of time – that was extended over the Covid period.

“But we were always looking at this time of year to do it. Even when the league was running we had a break in home games that meant we could get it done.”

Symes was joined by directors on Monday to begin removing the seats, but Dorchester have numerous other stadium projects to complete when Covid-19 restrictions are relaxed.

He said: “I’m certainly mucking in in terms of getting the project to this point.

“Obviously, I threw a few seats in the skip! But it’s now down to professional people who do it for a living.

“There’s a list of things – we’ve got the volunteer side of things with a lot of painting to be done around the stadium when the weather’s better.

“We’ll reach out to all of our community members, volunteers and youth and we’ll have a massive painting project.

“Then we’ve got ideas for kitchen areas and so forth that have become a bit old and tired over time.

“There’s a few projects to think about when we do come back and we can provide food and reinvigorate that side of things.”

Symes added: “We can’t do it at the moment. The other things around volunteers is because of the restrictions around meeting up in more than one person from another household.

“We’ve got to be conscious that we don’t ask people to do stuff that puts them at risk.

“We will wait until the Government gives clear guidance on when you can meet in groups and indoors.”