Rochdale AFC have further shown their commitment to the local community by dedicating an area of the Crown Oil Arena for community usage on non-matchdays.
The former Carlsberg Lounge, known to some as Studds Bar, has gone through a transformation over recent months, led by Rochdale AFC Community Trust, the club’s community engagement charity.
Now known as ‘Our Spot’, the community hub is now a vibrant space that caters for the charity’s many activities. It will serve as a café area for parents and participants to get a warm drink and snacks after Kick Pitch sessions, a classroom for learning, a social space for Sports College students, play area for kids, Game Zone and a safe space for over-50s social sessions, mental health workshops and many other activities ran by the Community Trust.
“We are delighted that we are able to invest our funds into an area that will benefit the wider community,” commented Ryan Bradley, Community Director.
“We are a growing trust and needed a base for our activities, a space where participants could feel at home.
“The old room was dark and dated. It was not a welcoming space at all and certainly not a great first impression on people who were engaging with the club for the first time.
“Now, Our Spot is a hive of activity not just on matchdays, but throughout the week and on evenings and weekends.
“With the Kick Pitch refurbishment completed recently and the new hub, we now have a perfect base to engage new supporters and can make a real difference to people through our sport, education, employability, health, and inclusion programmes,” finished Bradley.
The works cost circa £30,000 and were completed by local contractors C&C, with new furniture provided at cost from North West based Elgra Furniture and signage donated by Creation Signs.
The funds were put up wholly by Rochdale AFC Community Trust, who will use the space on non-matchdays on a lease agreement with Rochdale AFC.
“Bringing areas of the stadium into use on non-matchdays is a key part of our plan going forward, as is ensuring that we are at the heart of the community locally,” commented Chairman, Simon Gauge.
“When we heard of the plans that the Community Trust had for the room, the board felt it was something we should fully support. The newly refurbished room will help us improve our offer in the Smiths Metals Family Stand on a matchday as well as help us to engage new fans and support our community,” finished Simon, who has also recently joined the Community Trust board of trustees, alongside fellow director Tony Pockney.
Rochdale AFC Community Trust trustees, Rochdale AFC board members, local councillors, businesses and third sector organisations gathered at the Crown Oil Arena recently to mark the official opening, which was headlined by manager Robbie Stockdale hosting a question-and-answer session focussed on leadership and management.
The occasion also marked the official opening of the newly refurbished Kick Pitch at the Crown Oil Arena, which was completed during the pandemic and made possible by grant funding from the Football Foundation and Viridor, with some partnership funding from Dale Supporters Trust.
To find out more about the work of Rochdale AFC Community Trust, please visit www.rochdaleafccommunity.org.