Wakefield Community Stadium - latest statement

25/10/2017, PR8679

rugby ball

Wakefield Trinity owners have halted the latest talks on the community stadium proposals.

Wakefield Council and the club’s owners have been in discussions to agree the details to bring the Community Stadium proposals to fruition.

However, talks have now stalled after the Wakefield Trinity owners have rejected previously agreed plans that they need to pay a commercial rent and allow the community stadium to be run and managed by a charitable trust.

Wakefield Council announced last month that it would take out a lease on the Belle Vue site to speed up the delivery of the new project - an offer which still stands. However, the club’s owners have now rejected these plans and instead suggested that the stadium be built at no cost to them, while retaining sole control over its income and operations.

Andrew Wallhead
Andrew Wallhead

Andrew Wallhead, Wakefield Council’s Corporate Director for Regeneration and Economic Growth, said: “The fact that the club’s owners will not consider paying a fair commercial rent alongside other tenants in a stadium owned and operated by a charitable trust is unbelievable, especially as we understand that the Super League deal with Sky pays them a significant sum to cover accommodation costs including reasonable rentals.

“We have worked tirelessly to bring the option of building a brand new stadium at Belle Vue to the table and we are ready and willing to commit our finances so that the project could move forward quickly and deliver a new home for rugby in the City.

“We were disappointed and surprised by the suggestion that, instead of the agreed plan, we should now consider developing the stadium in Thornes Park at public expense.

“It is incredible that the club’s owners expect a stadium to be delivered at no cost to them and without having to pay a normal rent. No one could deliver a community stadium without a contribution from the main tenant and public money cannot be used to finance a project where the ultimate proceeds sit within a private company.”

The club’s owners have stated that they will now proceed with ‘alternative arrangements’ but have not shared those with the Council at the present time.

Manni Hussain, Chairman of 88m Group the owners of Belle Vue, said: “We are without question behind the Council and will work with them to finally resolve this issue. We want to continue to help the club to deliver a new community stadium for the 2019/20 season.”

ENDS

Contact us

Press Office

Room 11
Town Hall
Wakefield
WF1 2HQ

01924 305 294 or 305 295