Further to the press release issued by Wakefield Trinity and the Wakefield and District Community Trust earlier today, we wish to confirm the position relating to SWAG at this time.
SWAG have taken part in wider discussions regarding the proposals for new Stadia in the Wakefield District. Our stance, following clarification of various matters and confirmation from the three parties involved – namely the Wakefield Trinity Club, the Wakefield and District Community Trust and the Developer of the Newmarket site, Yorkcourt, is that we remain both confident and focussed on the ability to deliver a Community Stadium and Sports Facility at Newmarket.
Consideration has been given to the possibility of ground sharing. We can confirm that SWAG are not against the principal of sharing a facility with other parties, indeed the very essence of what is proposed at Newmarket is that the site should be available to a variety of different clubs and sports – a true Community Facility, owned and operated by an independant body through the Wakefield and District Community Trust.
Consideration has also been given to the possibility of re-directing both the club and the facilities to the Glasshoughton site. We can confirm that, given the assurances from the parties involved at Newmarket – that the Newmarket site is fundable, viable and deliverable – that we believe it would be wrong for us to back the proposal to re-direct the support already given by the 15,000+ people for the Newmarket site to an alternative location. This decision is based on the issues of geography, history, funding and the range of available facilities proposed and the benefits achievable for the population of Wakefield.
We note with some concern the decision to delay the review of the Newmarket proposal until September. We are however satisfied by the parties involved that all the relevant work will be in place by that time and we remain confident of a successful outcome to that meeting. Time is clearly a major factor in this situation, but we are confident that what is proposed at Newmarket is something worth fighting for.
It is our belief that everything that has been done to facilitate the delivery of the Newmarket site has been done in such a manner as to avoid the potential pitfalls that occurred at Thornes Park. WMDC have indicated their inability to fund a facility directly and their advice was followed in identifying a site, a developer and in the formation of a Community Trust – for which we are extremely grateful to Sir Rodney Walker and his committee for their efforts in this matter. Fundamental in this process was the allocation of land by WMDC to the professional clubs in Wakefield, against which the clubs could borrow monies towards achieving their goals. Given that this involves no direct funding from the council, and in accepting that this offer was made in lieu of the failure of WMDC to deliver the Thornes Park facility (over which at least 2 years work was lost), we would consider it inconceivable that there should be any moves made to remove this offer, which would seriously jeopardise the time, money and effort so far spent in pursuing the Newmarket site.
In conclusion, the work that SWAG have been undertaking for the last 6 years – to deliver a Community Sporting Facility which can be home to professional Rugby League and a variety of other Professional and Amateur Sports, for Wakefield – will continue, and that our goal remains the current proposed site at Newmarket.
Spokesman for SWAG – Stadium Wakefield Action Group.