Wakefield Council have given the green light to a £6 million fund to improve the facilities of the three professional clubs in the district.
Castleford Tigers, Featherstone Rovers and Wakefield Trinity will each be able to benefit from a grant of up to £2m from the Rugby League Resilience Fund.
The funding pot is intended to help the clubs meet RFL conditions on their stadium facilities and improve community use of the grounds.
The council’s cabinet approved the fund today (Monday) and Cllr Michael Graham, cabinet member for culture, leisure and sport, said: “We are very pleased to have made this decision today which recognises that Rugby League is at the heart our towns and city, with a very proud history.
“All three clubs have fantastic support from their fans and already make valuable contributions to communities in our district.
“With this new support to Wakefield Trinity, Castleford Tigers and Featherstone Rovers, we can help prolong the heritage of potential Super League rugby being played in the district.
“At the same time we can help the clubs widen their grassroots reach in the community and create more inclusive facilities that will meet the needs of even more people in our district.
“This can bring many benefits to our district’s health and wellbeing, as well as encouraging young people to aspire to achieve their dreams and goals in life.”
Castleford have already stated that they intend to use the fund to improve their existing Wheldon Road home, scrapping their plan to move to a new stadium at Glasshoughton.
The Tigers say that they would demolish and rebuild a new Main Stand and redevelop the other three sides of the ground.
Wakefield, having bought the freehold on Belle Vue and surrounding land with the help of a council loan, have submitted plans to renovate their home with the £2m contributing significantly towards that.
They plan to build a new East Stand, upgrade the existing North Terrace and turn the building in the south-east corner of the ground into a community hub.
Trinity chairman John Minards said: “For our club, the Fund will make a significant contribution of our stadium redevelopment plans which will themselves bring enormous benefits not just to the club but also to the people and communities of Wakefield.”
Featherstone chairman Mark Campbell said of the fund: “We are extremely grateful to Wakefield Council for this significant support, which is a real shot in the arm for the Club after an extremely challenging period financially for the game of rugby league due to Covid.
“The Council know that we have an excellent track record of the continuous development of our club so that it is sustainable and for our extensive efforts in the community, and this support will enable us to make a huge step change in accelerating our progress in these areas.”