Part of the summer programme of works here at Brunton Park includes an annual pre-season inspection of the stadium, with safety very much in mind as everything from the terracing to the roofs on the stands (and everything in between) is checked and verified as being good to go.
The inspection forms an important part of fulfilling all requirements ahead of the rubber-stamping of the stadium safety certificate, which allows the club to open up and operate as we head into pre-season and, of course, for the start of the new campaign.
Having recently renovated the West Stand roof area, a drone was deployed on Thursday afternoon to take imagery of the roofs on all three sides of the grounds, with the footage to be submitted to a structural engineer from Bingham & Yates.
Chairman Andrew Jenkins said: “This is something we’ve done before and the footage we get is actually very useful.
“It was one of those coincidences where Alastair Bruce and his son Andy were talking about looking for somewhere to test their drone, so we were able to combine that with the offer of a flight over the stadium in return for the use of the imagery. It worked out really well for both parties.
“It certainly helped last time we did this with the work that was required on the west side of the stadium last year, some of which included removing moss and debris.
“PMS Fabrications from here in Carlisle are fantastic in supporting us by providing expert assistance and machinery, particularly in the areas where new roofing panels and high cranes are required.
“The aim now is to identify anything that may be deemed as a potential problem or, as we expect, to confirm that the roofs on our stands are in a good state of repair.
“Utilising the drone allows us to get close to areas we wouldn’t otherwise be able to inspect, even with a cherry picker and, as we say, makes it an extremely useful tool.”
Chief executive Nigel Clibbens said: “Safety is of paramount Importance and every year we look very closely at what is required.
“The off-season is very busy as we work closely with the Safety Advisory Group. The pictures also show the Environment Agency work on flood defences, and the ongoing work we’re doing on the main pitch.”