Allerdale Borough Council, Workington Reds and Workington Town have all agreed to move forward with plans for a sports village for the area following meetings between the three parties over the last two weeks.
The Council and the clubs have pledged to all work together to build on the work already carried out over the past 12 months and help get the scheme off the ground. A project board with representatives from all organisations has now been established.
The clubs will be playing an active role in bringing the project to life in collaboration with the council. Should the scheme to deliver a sports village be successful it would see a new shared stadium built for the football and rugby league clubs with a linked set of inclusive community facilities open to all.
All sides agree that they want to find a solution that is achievable and affordable while matching the area’s aspirations. Possible funding streams to make the project a reality are being explored.
Earlier this year a delegation from the clubs and council visited three venues in the Manchester area as part of a fact-finding exercise to see what sort of shared community stadium all parties would like to see developed in Workington.
Cllr Mike Johnson, Deputy Leader of the Council, said: “The meetings between ourselves, Reds and Town went well, and it was good to come to an agreement on a way forward for this important project. A new shared stadium, as part of a sports village, will be a real asset to this community and benefit many people while helping us to achieve our ambitions to promote healthy, active lifestyles for our communities.
“I must stress that the current administration does want to see new sporting facilities developed in Workington and is keen to work alongside the clubs to deliver this. The coronavirus pandemic has naturally delayed our work on this and presented new financial challenges, but we remain committed to making this scheme a success.”
Les Smallwood, chair of Workington Town RLFC, said: “The Town board has great ambitions not only for the club but for sports provision for all of Allerdale. We have been consistent and positive in highlighting the potential for first-class facilities in the area and, in-line with our long-term strategy, look forward to being part of a concerted and collaborative effort to deliver for our community.”
Les Byers, chairman of Workington Reds, said: "It is great to see the sports village project centred around the Borough Park site move forward with a fresh positive impetus. This is vital for the future of our club and will benefit the whole of our community. Although there is still a significant amount of work ahead and much to be agreed, the Reds board look forward to playing their part in bringing the project to a successful conclusion”.