Building work on a new ‘fanzone’ at Barrow AFC will begin in the New Year after the club managed to gain funding for the project.

The news was revealed by Bluebirds chairman Paul Hornby at the fans’ forum, which was held at the Co-op Bowling Club at Dane Avenue on Friday night.

That it was taking place at that venue was in itself a sign of how things are progressing at Holker Street, as the Cross Bar at the stadium had already been hired for another function.

Beside the Cross Bar, which is at the Steelworks End of the ground, is where the new facility will be built and it will replace the temporary ‘fanzone’ that was put up during the summer where the Western Terrace used to stand.

It will give AFC supporters somewhere else to drink on matchdays and put to an end of the drain of fans leaving the ground for a half-time pint at the nearby Soccer Bar.

Hornby said: “It had been delayed because we were trying to get Football Foundation funding and we were successful a couple of weeks ago in getting that funding.

“That was ’70-30’ funding, so we get 70 per cent off the Football Foundation and we had to find 30 per cent.

“This is huge for us because we’re going to put up a structure next door to the Cross Bar.

“It’s going to give fans more facilities in the ground – a dry place in the ground, there are going to be disabled toilets and it’s going to take us into the modern age.

“We’ve got that funding and [co-owner] Kristian [Wilkes] is going to be funding that project, which is going to start on January 12, and we’re talking about an 8-10-week turnaround.”

There are further plans for the stadium after this new facility is finished, with the club also looking into putting a canopy roof on the Holker Street End.

Supporters, home and away, have had to brave the elements at that end since 2000 when the old roof was removed due to it becoming dilapidated and unsafe.

Hornby said: “I don’t want to be hung by a noose by it, but the next project is going to be a canopy roof at the Holker End. People have been talking about this project for a long time.

“This is going to be a proper canopy roof, in the style of the old one. Kristian has been looking at the old photos and we want to try and create something that resembled how the ground previously looked.

“The Holker wall at the back is quite a strong wall and this roof is going to cantilever off the back of the wall and lip over at the top.

“We’re getting test bore holes drilled in to see how good the ground is, to see how much we’d have to pile to get this roof up and then we can go into costings before we can go to the Football Foundation and look for funding.

“With a fair wind, we’re hoping this project might be carried out in the close-season.”