Raith hope to be pitch perfect as work resumes on new surface

Stark's Park - Kirkcaldy - Fife - 'new pitch being installed  - 'credit- Fife Photo Agency
Stark's Park - Kirkcaldy - Fife - 'new pitch being installed - 'credit- Fife Photo Agency

After a temporary hold-up due to a delay with the suppliers, work to install an artificial surface at Stark’s Park got back under way this week.

Following the completion of the sponge-like foundations three weeks ago, the green carpet finally arrived at the Pratt Street stadium on Monday allowing contractors to resume work on the £700,000 project.

Stark's Park - Kirkcaldy - Fife - 'new pitch being installed  - 'credit- Fife Photo Agency

Stark's Park - Kirkcaldy - Fife - 'new pitch being installed - 'credit- Fife Photo Agency

And the club insist that the pitch WILL be ready in plenty time to host the first home league match of the season against Stenhousemuir on Saturday, August 11.

David Sinton, Raith vice-chairman, told the Press: “Things were going really well, then there was a problem with delivering the carpet, which held things up.

“That’s it arrived now and they are unpacking and starting to lay it.

“It will now take about three weeks to complete and contractors tell us they plan to be off-site by July 27.”

Without the delay Raith may have been able to move their glamour Betfred Cup fixture against Hearts on July 25 from Bayview back to Stark’s Park, but Sinton insisted the club couldn’t take the risk.

“It’s a shame that we miss having the Hearts game at home but we never could have relied on the pitch being ready based on the terms of the contract - that’s why we planned to play it elsewhere,” he said.

“We couldn’t take the chance.”

Despite the delay, Sinton confirmed that the project is running to budget, but added that extra expense may yet be required for an upgraded irrigation system.

“We have some issues with the supply of water to the stadium,” he said.

“The irrigation system is state-of-the-art and will give ideal results in terms of the way the pitch feels if it is watered before the start of the game.

“For it to work, we need to deliver a lot more water in a shorter period and the water supply we currently have is not up to that when at full tilt.

“So we’re in negotation with Scottish Water to get an upgraded water supply.”

The club are already in discussion with Raith Ladies over using the stadium for their home matches, which take place on a Sunday, but changing facilities will need upgraded before it can be opened for use by the general public.

The club are also in consultation with regards redevelopment of the Railway Stand.

Sinton added: “We have architect drawings for what we hope could be a modern entertaining suite with seats in the front. They look very good but it’s also going to be expensive.

“We have a meeting with architects in the near future but if it happens it will likely be on a phased basis as we’ll be unable to do it in one go.”