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Friday, 24 October 2014

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Stadium: MP's furious attack on 'humiliating shambles'

An MP has launched a furious attack on local government regeneration chiefs after West Cumbria lost the chance to host 2013 Rugby League World Cup games due to plans for a new £5.5 million stadium stalling.

Pow Beck stadium graphic
How the proposed stadium might look

Copeland has withdrawn as a host venue for the tournament after talks over access to a proposed new stadium in Whitehaven collapsed.

Copeland MP Jamie Reed has called the situation a “humiliating shambles” and has warned Copeland and Cumbria County Council they are in danger of squandering a historic opportunity for an economic renaissance in west Cumbria on the back of the £2bn Britain’s Energy Coast plan.

“Britain’s Energy Coast is the best hope we’ve got of delivering on our ambitions for west Cumbria,” he said. “Those in local government, whether in the borough or county council, need to be honest about what they can achieve. There’s no place for amateurism in the development of west Cumbria. Those not up to it should get out of the way and leave it to those who know how to do it.

“I think the stadium will happen, but we are going to miss the World Cup which would have brought real recognition and investment to the area. The chance has been squandered and people will want to know why.

“It’s about credibility. I believe that all partners involved have to look at themselves and admit why this went wrong and ensure it doesn’t happen again.

“This is the last chance saloon and more embarrassments like this will not be tolerated.”

The group behind proposals for the Pow Beck scheme pulled the plug on the project in its current form after talks over access to the proposed site broke down.

The scheme’s backers – Copeland Borough Council, Whitehaven Rugby League Club and Whitehaven Amateur Football Club – insist the idea is not dead and the stadium could still be built. But they say it is not “feasible or affordable” to continue with negotiations with the Whitehaven Miners’ Welfare Association about an access route to the stadium across land the miners own. The miners say they are not to blame and have called for an inquiry.

Have your say

It is so typical to hear this news west cumbria needs to be taken out of the dark ages and moved forward this will create jobs and bring money to west cumbria i think the miners need to open there eyes and help out the next generation instead of making things difficult if i was Jamie reed i would be shown up you just cant help some people

Posted by david on 26 April 2012 at 17:31

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