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Thursday, 24 July 2014

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World Cup games and new Whitehaven stadium at risk

Fresh demands by the Recreation Ground’s landlords have put a question mark against plans for a new £5.5m community stadium in Whitehaven.

Stadium photo
The proposed stadium

An agreement between Whitehaven Miners Social Welfare – who own the access road to the proposed stadium – and partners in the venture was thought to have been reached last month, putting an end to fears that the project may be in jeopardy.

An announcement was made in March that the facility would host Scotland in 2013 World Cup games against Italy and Tonga. But no formal agreement had been signed, and talks since have not proved fruitful, with some partners in the project concerned at what they see as costly additional demands from the Miners Welfare.

Whitehaven Rugby League, Whitehaven Amateurs Football Club, Copeland Council and Britain’s Energy Coast are partners in the stadium project.

It had been planned to have to have the stadium open for the start of the next RL season. But it is likely to take about nine months to build, which leaves very little room for manoeuvre if it is to be up in time for Haven’s next campaign, launching around February, 2013.

Talks are ongoing and it is understood that partners are determined to push ahead with the project, even if they must find another access to Pow Beck.

The alternative for Haven is to remain at the Recre, their home since the club’s launch in 1948. And with no prospect of attracting large-scale funding to redevelop the old stadium, the idea does not appeal to the club.

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