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World Cup games pulled from Whitehaven

Organisers have pulled the Rugby League World Cup 2013 games from Whitehaven amid uncertainties about whether the town's new stadium will be built in time.

Pow Beck stadium graphic
How the proposed stadium might look

An announcement was made in March that the facility would host Scotland in games against Italy and Tonga.

An agreement between Whitehaven Miners Social Welfare – who own the access road to the proposed stadium – and partners in the venture was thought to have been reached last month, putting an end to fears that the project may be in jeopardy.

But no formal agreement had been signed and talks since have not proved fruitful.

Whitehaven rugby league, Whitehaven Amateurs Football Club and Copeland council are partners in the stadium project.

They said today: “Following a meeting last night, we have agreed unanimously that it is no longer affordable, nor feasible, to continue negotiations with the Whitehaven Miners' Welfare organisation and will instead look to develop the stadium project in a new direction.

“The partners will continue to work together to move the stadium project forward, but will no longer be exploring the option of access over the Whitehaven Miners' land. Positive discussions about other options for the development have already taken place and the partners are pleased to now be moving forward.

“Partners recognise that their new approach will lead to a delay in the project being completed but believe that it will ultimately help secure the sustainability of the project. As a result of this decision, the opportunity to bring the 2013 Rugby League World Cup to Whitehaven is lost and the RFL has been advised of this.

“The partners are pleased that Britain's Energy Coast continues to support the stadium development and look forward to working more closely with them, our nuclear partners and the RFL to make the stadium a reality.”

Brian Wilson, chairman of Britain’s Energy Coast, said: “Britain's Energy Coast, as major prospective funder of the Pow Beck project, notes the decision taken by the rugby partners not to proceed at present in view of their continuing difficulty in resolving issues of access with the Miners' Welfare.

"Our support for this project has been unswerving and we share in the disappointment about the immediate implications of this decision.

"However, the funding remains in place whenever a revised project emerges. In the meantime, we will give as much practical support as possible in order to advance that objective”.

It had been hoped to have the stadium open for the start of the next RL season.

But it was likely to take about nine months to build, which left very little room for manoeuvre if it was to be up in time for Haven’s next campaign, launching around February 2013.

Have your say

Elise what are you talking about rugby non existant ? we have some of the best rugby league amature clubs going last season had the 9s comp with them doing very well its the council that has let this world cup bid pass us by just like asda.but a better club is needed if Haven need to progress, and its things like a whitehaven bypass that will not help any growth in the town but pass us by. i dont know why the council were trusted to plan a stadium when theyv made a complete pigs ear of the town

Posted by dave the rave on 14 May 2012 at 22:16

Rugby like most things in Whitehaven is non existant; other cities and towns have an ability to look beyond the present and not the past. A all round facility such as the one in Hexham would have made all the difference; something for all. Once again Cumbria really is on the back foot; and when the lights are turned off remember to close the door as well.

Posted by Elise on 4 May 2012 at 07:31

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