NWDA says work to restart on Penrith AFC stadium

Construction of the new football stadium at the Frenchfield Sports Complex by Atkinson Homes will restart in the next few days after a legal agreement was signed before Easter, enabling Eden District Council to take control of the development.

The completion of the stadium was made possible thanks to kick-start funding from the North West Development Agency. In December 2008 the NWDA stepped in to provide £1m for the first stage of the Penrith New Squares scheme after plans stalled due to difficulty accessing finance. The NWDA hopes completion of the stadium will open up the potential of the New Squares development site for future investment and regeneration.

The new football stadium at Frenchfield will comprise a 1,500-capacity stadium, partly standing and partly seated, a floodlit pitch, car park, changing rooms, kitchens, bar and function room.

Ian White, secretary of Penrith AFC, said: "It will be all systems go at the club to get the new stadium ready for the start of next season."

Penrith-based construction firm Atkinson Homes is undertaking construction of the new stadium. Atkinson Homes director, Barry Turner, said: "We are delighted that we are able to get a start on site again. Work is in short supply and our sub-contract partners are eager to be back on site.

"Although the playing surface is well advanced, there is quite some work needed to the clubhouse and changing rooms structure before the internal works can be tackled. We are now on a tight timescale to finish in 14 weeks and hopefully the weather will be kind over that period."

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