Plans to create a new multi-million pound sports village in Workington have taken a big step forward thanks to a major funding announcement from the Government.
It was announced yesterday that Allerdale Borough Council’s bid to the Towns Fund for Workington, a £3.6bn pot which aims to level-up funding and opportunities for communities across the country, has been successful. It will see an investment of £23m the town and the council will now work with the Government and partners to finalise the plans.
The Allerdale Community Sports Village project was one of the schemes submitted as part of the bid and, if successful, it will see a new shared stadium built for the football and rugby league clubs with a linked set of inclusive community facilities open to all.
The project continues to be led by Workington Reds and Workington Town alongside support from the council with a project board set up last year meeting every two weeks to accelerate progress and build on the work which has already taken place.
Dave Bowden, chairman of Workington Reds, said: "This is great news and arguably the first and most critical milestone in bringing the sports village project to fruition has been achieved. There remains a lot of hard work still yet to be undertaken and we look forward to engaging with shareholders and supporters alike as we seek to address the further milestones.
“There is little doubt in my mind that if both clubs, supported by Allerdale Borough Council, continue their excellent cross working relationship, and if everyone associated with the clubs takes a positive stance, we will finally deliver this project, secure a better future for our clubs, and provide a community facility we can all be proud of.”
Les Smallwood, chairman of Workington Town, said: “It's a really positive step that the Towns Fund bid has been successful. This should provide a springboard to further investment so that we can deliver the right set of facilities that have a meaningful impact on our community.
“We look forward to using the momentum generated by this news to further develop engagement with a broad range of stakeholders and potential partners over the coming months.”
Cllr Mike Johnson, leader of the council, said: “Receiving this funding is great news for the sports village project and means the project is moving ever closer to becoming reality. This administration has always been clear about its intentions to see upgraded sporting facilities created in Allerdale. There’s a lot of good work that’s already taken place between the clubs, the council and others, to get the project this far and that joint working will continue going forward.”
Mark Jenkinson, MP for Workington, said: “I am delighted to see funding for a sports village approved as part of our wider Towns Deal funding for Workington. I have long been a proponent of providing quality, sustainable training and playing facilities for a range of professional and grassroots sports, and I am pleased that the project includes the creation of linked community sports facilities to do just that. This will make a real difference.”