Wakefield given fresh optimism in hunt for new community stadium

The people of Wakefield have been given fresh hope in their lengthy hunt for a new community stadium in the city – after an agreement thrashed out with a private developer could lay the platform for plans at Newmarket to finally move forward.

For years, the city has been hoping for a new stadium owned by a community trust, in which Wakefield Trinity would be anchor tenants. However, the developers, Yorkcourt, undertook a unilateral agreement rather than a multi-party Section 106 agreement some years ago which would have seen Wakefield Council, the community trust and Wakefield Trinity all involved in the plans.

However, councillor leader Peter Box revealed on Wednesday that Yorkcourt have agreed to replace the existing unilateral agreement with a new Section 106 document: and crucially, they are now also willing to accept a nearby site in Newcold as part of the Newmarket development where Trinity hope to play.

Previously, that company was only obliged to build a stadium if 60,000 sq ft of neighbouring retail space was occupied. But now, Yorkcourt have accepted that a 22,500 sq ft development at Newcold will now count towards that total, bringing further cause for optimism for the people of Wakefield.

“After months of negotiations, I am pleased that the developer has agreed to my suggestion to replace the Unilateral Undertaking with a Multi-lateral agreement,” Box said.

“The Council are committed to doing everything we can to bring to fruition the development of a new community stadium for Wakefield.”

The council will now hold further meetings with Yorkcourt and the community trust to try and ensure all parties are working together to try and bring the city’s long-awaited vision of a new stadium to reality. Those meetings are set to take place in the coming weeks.
“Following the agreement of the developer to put a Multi-Lateral agreement in place, the Trust have indicated their support to work with all parties involved to make the Newmarket Stadium a reality. If new arrangements can be put in place then we have a fresh, fit-for-purpose mechanism to drive this forward.
“I have pledged the Council’s continued support and we stand ready and willing to work with everyone involved.”