A new home for Workington’s rugby league and non-league football teams has moved forward with Iceni Projects submitting an application to develop the 8,000-capacity Stadium for West Cumbria.
The scheme has been designed in collaboration with two local clubs, rugby league’s Workington Town RLFC and non-league football club Workington AFC, both of which are operating from relatively old bases, in Borough Park and Derwent Park.
Should plans be approved, the stadium would be built around the site of Workington AFC’s current ground, off the A597 to the north of the town centre, close to council office Allerdale House. To the west sits a large Tesco store and to the east the town’s new leisure centre.
The Lower Derwent area has been allocated for leisure and recreation redevelopment in planning policy, with the first major development taking the form of Workington’s new leisure centre. An application for a hotel and restaurant has also been approved within the area.
The stadium is intended to be a community facility, using a hybrid surface in the stadium and also having a synthetic pitch on the campus. The stadium has also been selected to host matches as part of the 2021 Rugby League World Cup. In addition to the sports facilities, plans include 32,500 sq ft of office space
The project has been designed by Scottish firm Holmes Miller Architects, which has worked on a range of sports facilities, including York Community Stadium and Meadowbank Sports Centre. Gleeds is engaged as project manager. Consultation was held in December.
Although no final cost has been confirmed for the project, Allerdale said that similar stadium developments have been built for around £15m. The council is currently putting together a funding package which could include grants, sponsorship and contributions from partner organisations, and intends for the stadium to generate income through conferences and events.
If approved, Allerdale hopes to have the stadium completed in late spring 2021.