CASTLEFORD Tigers’ fans have delivered a 19,000-signature petition urging council chiefs to support the club’s plans to sell its ground for a supermarket development, which could create 2,000 jobs and spark £150m investment in the Five Towns.
Members of Tigers Together and Castleford Tigers Supporters’ Club delivered the document – containing 19,398 names – to Wakefield Town Hall after a five-week campaign calling on residents to back the ambitious scheme to build a “large format food store” on Wheldon Road.
In March, the Express revealed how the club had signed an exclusive development agreement with Opus Land (North) Ltd, which would help it redevelop its ground to sell to a supermarket, as well as provide “forward funding” for its proposed 13,300-capacity new stadium in Glass Houghton.
This week Opus announced it was in “advanced discussions with a major retail operator”.
Richard Wright, Tigers’ chief executive, said: “The amazing number of signatures just shows what the people want for this district. It’s a clear message to the council.
“I think the public can see the wider benefits this development will bring, not only in terms of enabling construction of the new stadium, but also the regeneration of Wheldon Road, the town and the site at Glass Houghton.
“The petition will hopefully speed up the process, resulting in the planning application, which will be submitted next month, being resolved in a quicker time frame.”
Kevin Lloyd, chairman of Tigers Together, thanked residents for their support and helping the petition exceed its target of 15,000 signatures.
He said: “It’s clear the people of Castleford and district are behind the supermarket development at the ground and we urge the council to take the overwhelming views of the townsfolk into account.”