New stadium at the heart of Workington Town’s vision

WORKINGTON TOWN Chairman John Pleasants says the development of a new stadium is the key to the future progress of the Cumbrian club in the IMG era.

The global media company is working with the RFL to ‘reimagine’ the game and strengthen its long-term prospects – and Town are eager to be fully involved.

Plans are in place to build a venue that will be shared with Workington’s football club and also be available for community use.

It is one of five projects in the area due to receive a share of more than £23 million from the Government’s Town Deal fund.

Pleasants and former football club Chairman Dave Bowden are on the board of a company formed to push the ‘sporting village’ project forward.

Town are recovering from a tough year, during which they hit financial difficulties and were relegated to League One.

Experienced coach Anthony Murray has replaced Chris Thorman at Derwent Park, the ground the club built back in 1956.

Formed in 1944, they originally played at Borough Park, which remains home to Workington AFC, of the Northern Premier League.

The planned new stadium will be built on the site of Borough Park, which is less than half a mile from Derwent Park.

It’s the second attempt at such a project. The first was unveiled in 2018, with a proposed completion in time to become a venue for the World Cup, originally scheduled for 2021.

However, that bid fell through after Allerdale Borough Council rejected the plans, with three men’s ties instead played at Newcastle’s Kingston Park this year.

Plenty of work is going into the latest initiative and Pleasants explained: “There’s a lot happening behind the scenes to get more backing and to get things moving.

“A new stadium is vital for the town, and also for this club, because the existing ground doesn’t work in the modern era.

“Its age means it’s expensive to run, and the facilities for hospitality and catering are far too limited.

“A new stadium would contribute significantly to the redevelopment the town needs and also to creating jobs.

“It would also enable us to better push forward our plans to develop the club off the field as well as on it.

“And without a new stadium, we wouldn’t be able to take full advantage of the work being carried out by IMG.”