Castleford Tigers major stadium upgrade recommended for approval
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Improvements to the stadium would mean that the club can meet Super League standards.
If approved, the club’s east stand will be demolished and replaced with a new all-seater stand.
The overall capacity of the ground will be slightly reduced to 10,020.
The development includes 16 corporate hospitality boxes and a banqueting suite.
A new club shop, gym. physiotherapy facilities and modern changing rooms for players and officials is included in the scheme.
A new match day fan zone area and artificial floodlit training pitch is also planned.
The stadium revamp will be funded by a the creation of a new employment and logistics site next to junction 32 off the M62.
Axiom Yorkshire says it will create over 1,830 permanent full-time jobs in Castleford, with a further 365 ‘spin-off’ jobs created within the Wakefield Council area.
The company will contribute £12.2m towards the stadium improvement if the schemes gets the green light.
A £2m contribution towards the stadium upgrade will also come from Wakefield Council’ sports resilience fund.
Both applications are to be considered by the council’s planning and highways committee on February 15.
The schemes have received more than 2,000 comments of support and a petition in favour signed by 550 fans.
Commenting on the proposals, Mark Grattan, Castleford Tigers managing director said: “Everyone knows how important the club is to the town and we take seriously our responsibility to maintain professional rugby in Castleford.
“However, it is no secret that the available money within the sport is diminishing.
“Without significant external funding, like that offered by the Axiom proposals, there is no realistic prospect of us raising the money required to pay for the major improvements to our stadium which are necessary over the long term.
“In turn, significantly improved banqueting and hospitality facilities will help us to substantially increase non-matchday income to the benefit of the club.
“We are also desperately keen to improve facilities for supporters with disabilities.
“The proposed stadium improvements will also deliver a new base for the Tigers Foundation which does so much important work within our community.
“It is critically important that we secure approval for both the planning application for the Wheldon Road improvements and the Axiom proposals which pay for them.”
A spokesperson for Axiom Yorkshire said: “We are pleased that both planning applications have been recommended for approval by Wakefield Council’s planning officers.
“The cumulative beneficial impact of this level of job creation, combined with the social-economic benefits to the area and the circa £142 million boost to the Wakefield economy, will deliver significant and lasting benefits for Castleford.
“It is now for planning committee members to make their decision on both applications.”
A planning officer’s report says there have been “funding difficulties” preventing the rugby league club from providing “category A facilities” required by the RFL for Super League status.
The report adds: “Whilst this application is not about securing Super League status for the club (that cannot be guaranteed in any event) the works that are proposed would assist in securing the long-term sustainability of the club for the town.”