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Saturday, 20 September 2014

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Copeland Stadium bosses offer Whitehaven RL new home

Copeland Stadium bosses are ready to offer Whitehaven RL Club a new home – if the under-fire £5.5 million Pow Beck Stadium development fails to materialise.

David Moore, Tory group leader on Copeland council, last week raised the prospect of scrapping the troubled Pow Beck scheme and switching the proposed new stadium investment just over a mile up the road to the Copeland site at Hensingham.

Copeland Stadium – a Cumbria Centre for Sporting Excellence – already boasts outstanding facilities and bosses are ready to lay down the welcome mat to Haven and a big new investment.

“As far as we are concerned it’s available,” said a Copeland Stadium spokesman. “We have never refused anybody.

“Our stadium is already there and we have rugby and football pitches, an athletics track, all-weather pitch, gymnasium, bar with function room, kitchen and more car parking space than enough.”

The only sticking point, he believes, may be the number of seats required to bring the grandstand up to the standard needed for Championship rugby league. He said: “The stand holds about 350, but with the money available you could put in 3,500 seats.”

Workington Town have trained at Copeland Stadium this year and it had been due to be the Scotland national team’s training base for their World Cup clashes with Tonga and Italy next year.

But last week’s announcement that Pow Beck partners Haven, Whitehaven Amateurs FC, Copeland Council and Britain’s Energy Coast had pulled out of talks with landowners Whitehaven Miners Social Welfare over road access put paid to World Cup plans.

However, partners still expect the Pow Beck scheme to go ahead – albeit with a delay while they search for a new access route – and so do Copeland Stadium bosses.

“I can’t understand why they have ignored our place,” the spokesman added. “It’s crazy. It’s politics.”

  • Gateshead Thunder player Sam Walsh was suspended for five games after he was found guilty of biting Haven winger Craig Calvert in a Northern Rail Cup tie at the Recre in February. He was also fined £50 for the Grade E offence.

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