Plans for a new 8,000 capacity stadium for Workington’s football and rugby teams were revealed nine months ago, however this week, they have been rejected by the new council executive.
Allerdale Borough Council did look to develop the ground at Borough Park, the current home of the town’s Northern Premier League club as well as hospitality and conference facilities, and a 3G training pitch, office accommodation for Sellafield and new NHS facilities.
Speaking at the meeting, Leader of the Council, Marion Fitzgerald said: “A great deal of work has been done by councillors on the Executive committee to get to the bottom of the business case and understand it. We have also reached out to Workington Reds and Workington Town to make sure any decision we made was fully informed.
“There’s no question the clubs’ need modern facilities and a new stadium would benefit them and wider the public. But we have to balance that with the risk to the council and serving the needs of the whole borough.”
Cllr Jenkinson, an executive member and responsible for economic growth, said: “We are aware of the situation the clubs see themselves in… But we need to ensure that the business case stacks up which is why I want to take more time to look again at it. I also would like to see more investment in grass roots sporting clubs.”
It was hoped that it was to be completed by 2021 and was estimated to cost £15m.
WORKINGTON’S CLUB STATEMENT:
“It was the decision we all feared and one which now questions our long term future at Borough Park, or indeed, our long term future full stop!
“But was it?
“The Executive of Allerdale Borough Council has decided not to proceed with the planned proposed joint stadium which, was to be the new home of Workington Town RLFC and Workington AFC.
“Following this decision, the Board of Directors has arranged a meeting with ABC on Monday to discuss the situation, including, most urgently, securing our playing accommodation for the 2019-20 season. We aim to secure the support of ABC to ensure that any critical work is carried out as soon as possible.
“It is the intention of the Board that the Club continues to be based at Borough Park as long as the stadium is safe and viable.
“With this in mind, the Club will be arranging a Safety Advisory Group inspection of Borough Park but work has been ongoing behind the scenes to establish the feasibility of us playing at the ground in the short term.
“Further updates will follow in due course.”
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