RULING councillors took a “brave and bold step” by agreeing a detailed business case for a controversial new stadium to be built in Workington.

Allerdale council’s executive committee unanimously agreed the document at a meeting yesterday (Friday).

Labour councillor and deputy leader Mark Fryer put his case forward for funding and developing the facility using a investor/developer model rather than by borrowing cash.

The system would see the authority use a developer to finance and build the 8,000-capacity stadium.

He said what made the project stronger was the interest shown by the NHS and Sellafield to use the stadium’s office space and health centre.

He said: “It’s a West Cumbria vision. One of the community aspects of the project which is closer to our hearts is the improved health provision. In our area GP provision has always been an issue and we’re working with the NHS to improve that access and resilience for our community.”

Councillor Barbara Cannon got emotional while speaking in front of fellow Labour members.

She said: “I think about my late grandfather who used to go and watch Workington Reds. I think that if he could even in his dreams imagine something like that in Workington he would be excited.”

Mrs Cannon also spoke of the importance of being prudent, but said some times bold decision had to be taken.

She added: “Sometimes we have to be brave and I think this is a brave and bold step. It’s not something that we rushed through. There have been previous failed attempts at brining a stadium here and this is nothing like those plans.”

Independent councillor Bill Jefferson also gave his backing to the plan.

He said: “The track record of this council in delivering projects is what encourages me to support it. This authority has delivered projects with minimum fuss and its success has been underplayed.”

Councillor Konrad Hansen said: “This is much more than a stadium for our teams, it’s about jobs, improvement of health provision. It’s about the message we send out to our community that we’re ambitious, we aim high as a council and we can inspire and share this ambition with our community.”

Alan Smith, leader, said: “This is going to be he best thing for Allerdale and West Cumbria.”