DORCHESTER Town have completed the installation of around 700 shiny new seats at the Avenue Stadium’s main stand.

The Magpies have chosen a modern, predominantly black colour scheme with the abbreviation ‘DTFC’ in white.

Dorchester’s revamp of the seats, to celebrate the Avenue’s 30th anniversary, was made possible by a grant for 70 per cent of the cost from the Football Stadia Improvement Fund.

Coming under the umbrella of the Football Foundation, the fund is financed by the Premier League.

Dorchester have raised the other 30 per cent through fans’ support.

The Magpies’ sponsor-a-seat initiative also offers supporters and companies the chance to emblazon their names on the new seating.

Dorchester director Cameron Dabbs has been heavily involved with the project and thanked the Magpies’ loyal fanbase for their cash input.

He told Echosport: “The 30 per cent has come through donations from our fans, which is a really nice thing.

“Even in this economic difficulty, a lot of our fans are still committed to our community club.

“They want to see the stadium look lovely so they can visit it and sit in their seats. They don’t want to be sitting in a seat that’s nearly rusted through after 30 years.

“Non-League football has been hit pretty hard across the board. It was great to see the fans still believing in our club.

“A lot of our owners and CBS members bought their seats and, season ticket holders when we offered it to them back in August, said: ‘We’ll buy our seats on top of that’.

“Just so they could have their name (marked). It’s going to last 30 years as well, so it’s a visual effect.

“When the season ticket holder’s not here, our players and other fans can still see they’re supporting the club.”

On the Football Foundation funding, Dabbs added: “It wouldn’t have been done without the grant the Football Foundation provided.

“It’s not cheap but we were lucky with the Football Foundation. They have belief in the club.

“It’s been really well received and we just want football back so people can come in and appreciate it.”

Explaining the bold change in colour scheme, Dabbs said: “It’s to celebrate the 30 years and it gave a fresher look, something different.

“I think it stands out more and creates a better impact with the ‘DTFC’ within the stand.
“We’re trying to protect the life of the seats and the more white seats you have, it looks greyer after a few years.

“It’s just to freshen it up, try something a bit different. It’s been well received on social media and that’s also been reflected in the seat sales.

“We’ve got quite a few seats to be sold, but we’re at about the 200-seat mark which is fantastic.”

Last week, Dorchester directors including chairman Scott Symes removed the old seats to pave the way for the update.

A crew from Scotland travelled down to Dorset, observing Covid-19 protocols, to complete the installation.

Dorchester’s league season is currently suspended beyond Saturday, March 6 amid the third national lockdown.

With fixtures frozen, club officials chose to bring forward the revamp, partly so the Magpies’ faithful has new seats to sit in when play resumes.