Fan Zone heading for The Hawthorns
WEST Bromwich Albion are making plans to introduce The Hawthorns' first Fan Zone in time for the start of next season.
And we want to hear from supporters about what they would like to see in the new facility which will be based around the old Hawthorns Public House site.
Albion have already received Listed Building Consent to demolish the east wing and rear buildings at the now derelict pub and recently lodged an application to knock down the west wing. All were 20th century additions to the original 19th century house.
The plan is to refurbish the core of the Grade II listed property in order for it to become the central feature of the club's first Fan Zone.
Albion are currently studying proposals to develop the near one-acre site on the corner of Halfords Lane and the Birmingham Road although that could be expanded in future development plans for the west side of the stadium.
But it is hoped the Fan Zone can in time become a popular pre-match meeting point for Baggies fans and attract supporters to the stadium earlier.
Albion are still in discussions about the future usage of the house but match days could see the site come to life with live music, a big-screen video, family entertainment and licensed and retail outlets.
Mark Miles, Albion's Head of Facilities Operations and Development, says: “We want to bring the site back to vibrancy.
“The site has been an eyesore for many years now and we want to continue to regenerate the area.
“Bringing down the wings gives us the perfect way of doing that.
“We are planning to make good the house with new rendering, painting and a refurbishment in sympathy with its heritage but we are still working on the proposals for what we will provide for our supporters.”
The demolition work will leave room for Albion to expand the current West Stand over Halfords Lane when the club decides to go ahead with that project.
But the immediate focus is to give supporters a pre-match gathering point - and the club want their fans to give them their own thoughts about what they would like to see there.
Music? Games? Competitions? Shops? Family-fun? It's your chance to have a say in what we all hope can be an important new feature of match day at The Hawthorns.
You can do that by leaving your comments here.
Artist impressions of the front elevation of the building (above) and the proposed site plan (below).