Progress continues to be made on developing a sports village for Workington with Allerdale Borough Council supporting Workington Reds and Town with the initiative.
The scheme continues to be led by the clubs alongside support from the council with a project board set up last year now meeting every two weeks to accelerate progress and build on the work which has already taken place.
The board’s work is currently focusing on three areas: design and facilities mix, funding and future governance.
To move the design process forward a local architect has agreed to undertake some initial concept work and some other consultancy is to be commissioned to support the project.
The clubs are also meeting with stakeholders and following some stadium visits last year, they have also arranged follow up discussions with FC United of Manchester to see what further learning can be gained.
Should the scheme - which is using the working title of the Allerdale Community Sports Village – be successful, it would see a new shared stadium built for the football and rugby league clubs with a linked set of inclusive community facilities open to all.
The project was included as part of Workington’s bid to the Government’s Towns Fund in October and all parties eagerly await news of whether it has been successful.
Cllr Mike Johnson, Deputy Leader of Allerdale Borough Council, said: “Everyone involved is committed to moving this scheme forward and there is a real spirit of co-operation and enthusiasm for the project. Overall, we’re making good progress and we look forward to being able to share some more good news in the coming weeks and months.”
Dave Bowden, chairman of Workington Reds, said: "It is right that we all commence this work in order that we hit the ground running should our bid be successful. There are a lot of milestones to be reached, with this funding decision critical.
“If we can continue the excellent way the whole project team are working then I'm sure we have a great chance to finally deliver a superb community facility.”
Les Smallwood, chairman of Workington Town, said: “It's been great to be working so closely with the Reds to move things on. We look forward to furthering our engagement with a broad range of stakeholders over the coming months to refine the concept and ensure that the facilities deliver on what the area needs."
Mark Jenkinson, MP for Workington, said: “As a board member, I am delighted that progress is being made in the development of a sports village for Workington. There is no doubt of the need for new facilities, and it is important for me that these facilities have as wide a catchment as possible, covering a multitude of sports - and most importantly that they are sustainable.
“I am pleased that the project includes the creation of linked community sports facilities. This would ensure that grassroots sport is facilitated in communities right across Workington.”