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Beer garden to open on rugby pitch in fundraising try

Prop up our bar: Club stalwarts Steve Neale (left) and Pete Murphy, inset Twitter appeal for tables PICTURE: SWNS

A BEER garden for up to 500 punters is to open on a rugby pitch — and it hopes punters will have a picnic.

Barrow Raiders rugby league club is turning its Craven Park stadium into a pub to prop up funds lost during the pandemic.

Picnic tables will be set up at a safe distance from each other and customers will also be able to lay out their own blankets.

The semi-pro club — which plays in League One, two divisions below the Super League — has tweeted a photo of a bench, captioned: ‘We are seeking someone local to manufacture a good quantity of these benches #SupportLocal.’

Chairman Steve Neale said: ‘In the last three months we’ve had no matchday income and our sponsors are suffering. This is an opportunity to make it up.

‘Maybe we’ll do this over a series of weekends, if we’re not yet playing rugby.’

The club will open two bars, run a table service and hopes to make £10,000 on opening night, he added.

Local councillor Bill McEwan said: ‘If it’s policed correctly, I’m behind it 100 per cent. People can’t wait to get pubs and clubs open but it’s about keeping their distance.’