The Southern 100 Club has taken delivery of a new portable grandstand from a rugby club in Cumbria, with help from long-time sponsor the Isle of Man Steam Packet Company.
The Southern 100 committee was quick to accept when Silloth Rugby Club Chairman Alan Tiffen offered them the grandstand, which the Cumbrian team no longer needed.
Alan has been a fan of racing at the Billown circuit for many years and thought the 27-seat grandstand could be put to good use.
After an approach from the Southern 100 Club, haulier Manx Independent Carriers arranged for the stand to be collected for delivery to the Island. The Steam Packet Company, which has been title sponsor of the International Southern 100 Road Races for almost 20 years, assisted by shipping the grandstand to Douglas for free, before MIC completed the journey by delivering the stand to Castletown last month.
It will be used to provide seating for spectators during racing at Billown, but as it is mobile the committee hopes it can be used at other community events.
In 2015 MIC and the Steam Packet Company also assisted with delivery the Club’s first mobile grandstand, which was purpose-built thanks to donations.
Southern 100 Treasurer Richard Haddock said: ‘We were thrilled when Alan offered us the spare grandstand. The races are hugely popular and we are always in need of additional seating, which is why we invested in our first mobile grandstand. The addition of a second facility will provide more comfortable and safe seating for spectators.
‘Once again we would like to thank the Steam Packet Company and Manx Independent Carriers for helping us out and delivering the grandstand to us.’
Michael Coleman, Managing Director of Manx Independent Carriers, said: ‘The Southern 100 races are a great asset to the Island and we are pleased to help the committee in any way we can. I hope fans enjoy the additional seating at future races.’
Isle of Man Steam Packet Company Chief Executive Mark Woodward added: ‘Everyone at the Southern 100 works incredibly hard to put the races on. We’re proud to have been title sponsor for almost two decades, and always keen to help the organisers when we can. This grandstand will provide seating for the fans, and the fact there is a growing requirement for spectator seating is testament to the increasing popularity of racing at Billown.
‘Racing started last week with the Pre-TT classic and now it’s just a few weeks until the Southern 100 in July, and no doubt this new grandstand will be packed as fans enjoy the thrilling action.’