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Monday, 22 December 2014

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Contract awarded for Workington rugby stadium revamp

A Workington construction firm has been awarded the contract for the £400,000 revamp of the town’s rugby stadium ahead of the Rugby League World Cup.

Dave Bowden photo
Dave Bowden

Stobbarts Ltd was due to begin work on Derwent Park this week with the project expected to be completed before the start of the regular season in February.

The ground, which is home to Workington Town and speedway, will host two Rugby League World Cup in 2013.

They will be Scotland’s two group games against Tonga on Tuesday, October 29 and against Italy on Sunday, November 3.

John Stobbart, the firm’s managing director, said: “I’m pleased we have got it and looking forward to working with the directors of Workington Town the ground up to a standard for the forthcoming games

“We are trying to do the most of the work in the close season so it doesn’t effect the league games which start in February/March.

“A substantial amount of work needs to be carried out. At the back end of the season we will go back down [to the ground] and put things in place that are critical for the stageing [of the World Cup Games].”

He added: “As well as being beneficial for everybody for the World Cup it is also beneficial for Town going into the new season.”

The work will include improvements to “key areas” of the ground.

It will include structural refurbishment of the popular side of the ground; new seating in the grandstand; new floodlights; and “dramatic improvements” to the playing surface.

A media box for TV crews, drugs testing facilities and an electronic scoreboard will also be installed.

Dave Bowden, chairman of Workington Town RLFC, said: “These improvements will not only improve the World Cup spectator experience but will have a lasting legacy to be used for years to come. We are also delighted that, following a comprehensive tendering process, the work on the ground will be carried out by a local construction company in Stobbarts, who have already demonstrated tremendous enthusiasm for the project. The decision to award the World Cup to Workington is already benefiting the local economy.”

Stobbarts will be using local subcontractors for the bulk of the work and expects that the job will create up to 30 local jobs certainly for the next three to four months.

But the firm will also need help from groundwork, steelwork, scaffolding and painting sub contractors.

A very small portion of the work will be handled by subcontractors from outside the area including the work involving the new scoreboard.

And Britain’s Energy Coast has officially approved the £350,000 grant award for the ground using resources from its nuclear funding partners.

Allerdale council has also agreed to underwrite £50,000 of the anticipated total cost of £400,000.

The award has now been confirmed after the BEC Board approved a detailed application from the club.

Britain’s Energy Coast had originally ring-fenced the money back in the summer.

Rt Hon Brian Wilson, chairman of Britain’s Energy Coast, said: “I, like so many others, will be looking forward to West Cumbria putting on a great show on the global sporting stage.

“I also welcome the fact that there will be on-going benefit to Workington RLFC and that this will allow them to build a legacy for the wider community.”

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