Posted: Friday 15th April 2022
Update on stadium redevelopment
Castleford Tigers provide an update on the proposed stadium redevelopment at Wheldon Road.
Castleford Tigers and Highgrove Group, the owners of the Junction 32 site, have today released details of their plans, which could see the club benefit from a funding arrangement similar to that recently achieved by Wakefield Trinity. If successful, Castleford Tigers would stay at a revitalised Wheldon Road stadium rather than relocating to a new stadium at Junction 32 of the M62 near Glasshoughton.
Highgrove Group is proposing to submit a planning application over the summer which would repurpose the approved Axiom retail and leisure development at Junction 32 into an employment site. Rather than build a new stadium for Castleford Tigers at the Junction 32 site, Highgrove Group have agreed to provide funds towards improvements to Wheldon Road.
Funds raised by the proposed new employment development would supplement Wakefield Council’s £2million grant to Castleford Tigers via their Rugby League Resilience Fund, announced at the end of last year. This mirrors the mechanism of the recent planning approval which provides funds to redevelop Wakefield Trinity’s Belle Vue ground.
In recent months, Castleford Tigers and Highgrove Group have been working on development proposals to bring Wheldon Road up to modern standards. The club proposes to demolish and rebuild the Main Stand, and modernise the existing Princess Street Stand, Railway End and Wheldon Road End. There would also be new fan facilities, food and drink outlets, four new changing rooms, a new gymnasium, additional medical and physiotherapy facilities, new staff and foundation offices and hospitality suites.
Mark Grattan, Castleford Tigers RLFC Managing Director said:
“There has long been a need for serious investment into the fabric of Wheldon Road. We spend large sums each year on maintenance, but this is really just applying a sticking plaster. What the stadium needs is a full revamp, befitting of our status as a Super League club.
“Following Wakefield Council’s announcement regarding their Rugby League Resilience Fund, and Wakefield Trinity’s recent successful planning approval, we have been working closely with Highgrove Group to secure the additional funds necessary to make Wheldon Road fit for the future. We are delighted to provide details of our plans with Highgrove Group to fund major investment into our historic home using funds raised, should proposed new employment development come to fruition at the Axiom site.”
The Junction 32 site is ideally located to take advantage of the strong current demand for employment and commercial space. Highgrove Group anticipate that employment development on the Junction 32 site would create around 1,800 on-site jobs and almost 600 further jobs elsewhere to support it, plus over 650 jobs during construction.
A spokesperson for Highgrove Group, owners of the Junction 32 site said:
“We are delighted to provide details of the plans we have developed with Castleford Tigers to support redevelopment of the Wheldon Road stadium should the Axiom site be successfully repurposed for employment development. Highgrove Group is currently working on a planning application and intends to start community consultation in the coming months.”