The Dunes Hotel Stadium
5,045 (Seats 1,000)
Address: Wilkie Road, Barrow-in-Furness, LA14 5UW
Telephone: 01229 666010
Pitch Size: 110 x 74 yards
Pitch Type: Grass
Club Nickname: Bluebirds
Year Ground Opened: 1909
Undersoil Heating: No
Home Kit: Blue and White
Away fans are mostly housed on one side of the Holker Street Terrace (towards the Brian Arrowsmith Stand) at one end of the ground. There is also some additional standing space available beside the Brian Arrowsmith Stand. Oddly the Club have elected to segregate supporters at that end by the use of a dividing fence which means that no visiting fans can stand directly behind the goal. During the Summer of 2020, a roof was erected over the whole of the Holker Street End, providing welcome cover for visiting supporters. This should also help boost the atmosphere inside the ground. In addition to this terraced area, a number of seats are made available to away fans in the covered Brian Arrowsmith Stand. Catering inside the ground is in the form of the obligatory burger van.
Holker Street is a traditional old looking ground that has been improved recently with the erecting of a roof over the Holker Street End. The ground is quite striking with the use of the team’s blue and white colours on the stands around the stadium. On one side is the colourful looking Brian Arrowsmith Stand, named after a former Barrow Manager and Player, who spent his entire career at the club. This is the main stand at the ground and is seated and covered. It has some supporting pillars along the front of the stand and runs for around half the length of the pitch. It is situated on the half way line and is raised above pitch level, meaning that you have to climb a small staircase to access it. The areas to either side of the stand are flat standing spaces.
On one side is the Ray Wilkie Popular Side Stand. This is a terrace which is covered towards the centre. The Crossbar Terrace (also known as the Steelworks End) at one of the stadium, is on one side, a small open terrace, whereas the other side is not really used for spectators. In fact, this area houses the Club Offices which tends to be detrimental to the overall look of the ground. Opposite is the larger Holker Street Terrace, which was recently an open area, but has now been covered with a roof. This end is split between home and away fans. The stadium has a set of tall modern floodlights, although the old classic looking floodlights that they replaced are still currently in place.
In July 2019 the Holker Street ground was renamed the Progression Solicitors Stadium in a two-year corporate sponsorship deal.
Barrow have been knocking on the door of the football league for a little while and they’ve poured a fair bit of money at the ground to whip it into shape of late. The Holker Street End has had a roof added whist the visiting section has been enhanced too. This was previously allocated as standing only but seats have now been added giving fans a choice.
The Club has its own club house bar called the ‘Crossbar’. This bar welcomes away supporters and has SKY and BT Sports television. Elaine Warden informs me; ‘There is a pub next door to the ground called the Soccer Bar which is independent from the club and popular with visiting supporters as well as home fans.’
Otherwise, if you go along Walney Road (A590) towards the town centre firstly passing Asda, then turning left onto Duke Street, you will find the Ambrose Hotel, which has a selection of real ale. Alternatively, continue on the A590 passing first ‘The Owl and The Pussycat’ pub (part of the Hungry Horse chain) before you will reach a retail park that has a number of eating outlets including a McDonalds and KFC as well as a Tesco Extra.
If you have a bit more time on your hands you might park at the Holker Street end of the ground then you can take the 10-15 minute walk down Holker Street into the town centre. Peter Naylor adds: ‘At the junction of Holker Street and Abbey Road, near the railway station, you will find a fine action statue of Emlyn Hughes, who came from Barrow. Across the road is ‘The Duke of Edinburgh’, a developing four star hotel with a good selection of drinks generally, real ales in particular, while walking a further block to your right you will encounter ‘The Furness Railway’, a Wetherspoons pub themed to the company that led to the development of Barrow. Both these pubs are listed in the CAMRA Good Beer Guide
Leave the M6 at Junction 36 and take the A590 towards Barrow-in-Furness. As you enter the outskirts of Barrow you will pass a fire station on your right. You should now be able to see the floodlights of the stadium over on your left. Turn left into Wilkie Road and then right into Holker Street. Plenty of street parking is available.
Post Code Sat-Nav: LA14 5UW
Barrow-in-Furness Railway Station is located just under a mile away from the Holker Street ground. It is served by trains from Lancaster and Carlisle. John Stafford informs me; ’emerge from the station and the small station entrance road leads directly onto Holker Street. Look right and you will be able to see the floodlights of the ground further up Holker Street itself.’
Booking train tickets in advance will normally save you money! Find train times, prices and book tickets with Trainline. Visit the website below to see how much you can save on the price of your tickets:
Adults £16, Over 65’s £12, Under 21’s £5, Under 16’s £3
Adults £13, Over 65’s £10, Under 21’s £5, Under 16’s £3
Official Programme £2.50
Never before has the chant ‘your stadium is s**t’ been more fitting; Barrow’s ground actually started life as a rubbish tip with the early pitches having litter engrained within them. Barrow played games on the site for three years before any stand was even present; the first building works of note took place in 1912 with a wooden stand being added. Nine years later there were four stands and only one of them was open terrace too, which was far normal. The wooden design was largely replaced shortly after the Second World War and the next big changes didn’t occur until 25 years later; those changes were born out of financial necessity too with a speedway track added to put more bums on seats. It didn’t last long but the next lightbulb moment did; that was the addition of a leisure club.
Barrow vs Workington rivalry: With Barrow hailing from Cumbria they’re not really loaded with nearby clubs who they compete against. It’s that sparsity which means their games against Workington take on a special meaning. Both clubs are based up in the Lake District and have regularly faced off.
16,874 v Swansea City
FA Cup 3rd Round, January 1954.
2018-2019: 1,375 (National League)
2017-2018: 1,181 (National League)
2016-2017: 1,293 (National League)
If anything is incorrect or you have something to add, please e-mail me at: [email protected] and I’ll update the guide.
Special thanks to Paul Willott for providing the photo of the Holker Street End.