Castleford Tigers close in on stadium redevelopment as fresh details revealed

Castleford are confident they will soon be able to start the redevelopment of Wheldon Road, with further details of the project revealed.

The Tigers indicated in November that they intend to stay at their current home instead of moving to a proposed new stadium near Junction 32 of the M62.

Plans to revamp Wheldon Road include building a new main stand. Castleford managing director Mark Grattan has put the cost of the project at between £8 million and £10 miliion.

Wakefield Council’s Rugby League Resilience Fund will provide £2 million and for the remainder, the club is in discussions with the owners of the Axiom site at Junction 32 on additional plans to generate extra funding.

The club hopes to secure a new Section 106 agreement at Axiom, changing the purpose from retail use to warehousing, which would provide the funds required.

They are confident of doing so with the support of Wakefield Council, after Wakefield Trinity secured a similar deal at the Newmarket site of their previously proposed new stadium, which will provide funds for their redevelopment of Belle Vue.

“We’ve got a developer who is willing to change the 106 agreement at Axiom, to give us the funds to develop the site up here,” said Grattan.

“He just needs to get his consent changed from shopping centre to warehousing and distribution, so providing he gets that, they will contribute a significant sum of money to getting this stadium up to a really good standard.

“It was always going to be a difficulty getting the enabling development away from the site but Wakefield have now managed to do that.

“Providing we get the same kind of treatment that they (Wakefield) got from the Council planning department, we should be home and dry.”

Once that hurdle is cleared, Castleford believe progress will be quick.

Initial plans for the redevelopment are “virtually done”, according to Grattan, and images should soon be available for supporters to see the future layout of the stadium.

Detailed planning should then begin early this summer, and once work starts, the expected timescale is around 18 months.

The headline work is the replacement of the main stand with a new construction, which will run the length of the pitch, while there will be extra hospitality boxes and automated turnstiles.

The new main stand would contain a banqueting suite, which could provide an extra £1 million a year in revenue, while further income will also come from more than doubling the number of hospitality spaces to 400-plus.

While work takes place, there will be temporary seating and changing rooms, and overall spectator capacity will be reduced.

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