Council pulls out of stadium role
Last updated at 11:33, Thursday, 21 June 2012
A SECOND feasibility study is to be carried out to see whether Whitehaven should have a new community sports stadium.
All options are open following the Pow Beck land-lock.
But Copeland Council will no longer spearhead the scheme, which collapsed after the breakdown of the access deal with Whitehaven Miners’ Social Welfare.
The Whitehaven News can also reveal that “all options” will be explored including:
should it go ahead with the £5.5 million Pow Beck scheme,
should it be built somewhere else, or not at all with the money used instead to improve Copeland’s existing sports facilities.
However, Britain’s Energy Coast chairman Brian Wilson said yesterday: “There is no change in our position on Pow Beck. The money (£4 million plus) is there – all we need is a viable project to put it into.”
Meanwhile an internal “project evaluation” will take place to learn lessons from the failed project followed by an independent peer review.
Copeland Council has abandoned its lead role in bringing about a joint rugby league and soccer stadium. Now, in a complete re-appraisal, a second feasibility study will be undertaken and for any further work, the nuclear industry will have to foot the bill. Nuclear staff might be seconded to take over project/risk management and do the work for free.
The borough council has washed its hands of stadium project management for which it was criticised by the Whitehaven Miners but will stay on the stadium partnership for statutory planning purposes only.
A separate ‘strategic’ group (comprising stadium partners) will take a completely fresh look at the best and most viable ways of spending the millions on what’s best for sports development in the borough. Consultants were hired for the first feasibility study but the cost ran to £300,000. And it’s claimed that £1.2m of taxpayers’ money in all has been wasted already.
Speaking personally, Phil Greatorex, the Copeland Executive councillor for regeneration, said Pow Beck was still on the cards but admitted: “It might be that the three nuclear partners, depending on what happens, have no appetite for it.
“The key to a brand new stadium is that it has to be sustainable – that is fundamental.
“My understanding is that Sellafield and the other nuclear partners have offered to provide project management and the stadium partnership has accepted.
“The local authority, given the current position over finances, simply does not have the resources or the capability to provide the required level of project management support.”
Gary McKeating, for Nuclear Management Partners, said: “We’ve been asked by the stadium partners to lend some project management support in terms of taking a look at the project and assisting them so that they are in a position to make an informed decision on a way forward. This is part of Nuclear Partners’ commitment to playing a full part in the delivery of the Energy Coast Blueprint. We’ve agreed to set up a workshop. Any decision on the future of the stadium proposal will be for all the Pow Beck partners to make.”
Until now Copeland Council carried out the project management role only for the Miners to blame the council’s failures in “basic project management” for the breakdown of negotiations over site access – and collapse of the scheme in its present form.
First published at 11:11, Thursday, 21 June 2012
Published by http://www.whitehavennews.co.uk
Have your say
whos botherd about sayin sorry to the miners (What about all the money theyv wasted on meetings and surveys) alot on heer are missing the point the council have lost all that money and are allowed to cut n run to the next failure. as far as im concerned the ones dealing in that stadium should be held accountable
The Miners Welfare said all along project principals had not been followed and that the Miners should not be made scapegoats for other parties failures. The council should apologise to the Miners for trying to put blame, through the press onto them.
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