CASTLEFORD Tigers boss Richard Wright has reassured fans that plans for the club’s new stadium will not be affected by a government decision to give rivals Wakefield Trinity Wildcats the go-ahead for their scheme.
Wildcats were told on Thursday by Eric Pickles, secretary of state for communities and local government, that plans for a £19m community stadium at Newmarket Lane, near Stanley, could go ahead, if certain conditions were met by August. Plans had originally been called in by the government after Wakefield Council approved planning permission in 2010.
However, Tigers chief executive Mr Wright said: “We have noted the news that has come out regarding Newmarket and while we are pleased for Wakefield, I’d like to make it clear to Tigers fans that this has no impact on our own new stadium project at Glass Houghton.
“Our stadium project is well advanced, structured and already has full planning consent, and we are in advanced discussions with food operators.
“Securing an agreement with a food operator is the next critical step for us and once we get that agreement signed, the funding will be in place for our stadium and we will then be able to push on with the delivery.
Castleford Tigers signed a deal last year with developer Opus Land (North) Ltd to sell and redevelop the current ground at Wheldon Road as a supermarket, which would then fund a new £12m stadium at Glass Houghton, to help the club retain Super League status.
The club has been in talks for several months with a supermarket giant – believed to be Tesco.
Mr Wright added: “Our discussions with, and significant support from Wakefield Council, can be clearly demonstrated by the fact that both our Glass Houghton new stadium development and the regeneration of the Wheldon Road corridor are now central to the council’s Castleford Growth Delivery plan, which is now out for public consultation.
“The Glass Houghton and Wheldon Road projects will deliver 2,270 jobs, bring substantial social and economic benefits to the town and are supported by 22,000 local residents who signed a petition of support last year.”