Work on new £10m Wakefield stadium to get underway this year?

Sir Rodney Walker
Sir Rodney Walker

Wakefield will end its eight-year long battle for a new £10m community stadium with a leading figure saying he is hopeful that work will get underway this year.

Sports administrator Sir Rodney Walker, who has been spent those years campaigning, is spearheading a new trust which will finally deliver the modern facility which could boast up to 10,000 seats.

The former chairman of Wakefield Trinity says the Super League club will hopefully become the main tenants of the new development, but is hopeful other clubs will also be invited to use it.

Named the Wakefield Community Stadium Charitable Trust, leading business figures and lawyers have been appointed, and Sir Rodney says there is finally some light at the end of the tunnel.

He said: “I’m hoping that we can make real progress, start building later in the year and get it in use as soon as possible.

“I’m reserving judgement until I have dotted all the Is and crossed all the Ts, but once I know everybody is happy we will finally achieve what we set out to do eight years ago.

“We are almost there. For the first time I’m more optimistic than cautious.

“I would like to pay tribute to the enormous amount of work that has been done by the supporters groups in keeping the pressure on everybody to bring about this community stadium.

“The important thing is that it’s going to be a stadium for the community of Wakefield at which Wakefield Trinity will be the principal tenants, although negotiations are underway and we may well see others playing there also.”

Planning red tape involving developers, Yorkcourt, meant that the plans for the stadium off Newmarket Lane had stalled in recent years.

However, Sir Rodney says the new trust is now working closely with Yorkcourt to resolve the matters.

Wakefield Trinity recently announced it would be leaving Belle Vue at the end of the season, saying the old ground is no longer fit for purpose.