Damage to Castleford Tigers stadium highlights club's “great need” for new home
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Damage to Castleford Tigers stadium highlights club's “great need” for new home

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Castleford Tigers CEO Steve Gill has said the weather damage caused to Wheldon Road stadium last weekend highlights the club’s “great need” to find a new home.

The Super League club was forced to close its Princess Street stand for Sunday's match against Bradford after a retaining wall collapsed. The 4,000-capacity stand will remain closed for Tigers’ next two pre-season games against Widnes and York.

Gill said the ageing Wheldon Road stadium – also called The Jungle – can only be used on match days and the club is losing revenue as it is unable to host functions and community events throughout the year.

“We use the gound 13 times a year and we’re struggling year in, year out.” Gill said in an interview with Sky Sports. “To keep growing we need a ground that is going to be fully functional 365 days of the year.”

The club first announced proposals to build a new stadium in 2009 – with an initial opening date scheduled for 2011 – but plans have been repeatedly delayed by planning and funding issues.

Last year, the club unveiled its latest detailed plans for a new 10,000-capacity community stadium in Glasshoughton, as part of a £135m mixed development project proposed by London-based developers Lateral Property Group (LPG).

Designed to meet Super League requirements, the planned stadium would provide administration, changing facilities, restaurants and hospitality areas, with a mixture of both seating and standing terraces.

LPG has entered into talks with Wakefield Council over the Junction 32 plans, which also include a major retail development, a new 50-acre county park and a number of leisure spaces.

A special planning meeting is to be held in Wakefield on 6 February, when councillors will consider applications – including the proposed new stadium – for the development.

Castleford councillor Denise Jeffery, Wakefield Council's deputy leader responsible for economic growth, said the applications need to be right for the area.

Jeffery said: "We have decided to hold a special meeting of the planning committee where they will only discuss the four Glasshoughton applications. These applications are so important to the area and we need to make sure we get it right."

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Castleford Tigers CEO Steve Gill has said the weather damage caused to Wheldon Road stadium last weekend highlights the club’s “great need” to find a new home.
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