Whitehaven are well past halfway now in their bid to reach a target of £60,000.

Officials of the club are reporting a phenomenal response to the appeal.

Chairman Tommy Todd said: “We took £2,000 on our market stall on Saturday and another £500 during our trip to play Newcastle Thunder.

“It really is heart-warming to see the response from everyone. The town has certainly rallied round it’s rugby league club.

"The fact that we have investors waiting to come in once we get to our target figure has been another significant development.”

The new consortium waiting to take charge believe that the club can become a solid Championship side inside three years.

Stuart Harvey, who hails from Wigan, heads the consortium who are prepared to chip in another £33,000 once the target figure has been reached.

He is looking to develop youth rugby at the club, as well as launch a women’s team in the initial three years of involvement.

Harvey also says that the £10 admission price for the game with Bradford on Sunday could become a regular arrangement.

He knows that Bradford have a big travelling following and sees no reason why the game can’t attract a 2,000 gate.

Whitehaven have lost their last two games to slip two points behind the play-off places.

“It’s setting it up nicely,” said chairman Todd.

“League leaders who bring a big following, only a tenner to get in and our lads determined to get back to winning ways – it has all the ingredients for a great day.”

Bradford stayed two points clear at the top after a 50-12 home win against North Wales Crusaders on Sunday.

Whitehaven, following defeats at Hunslet and Newcastle, are down to eighth but only two points off the play-offs.