Posted: Thursday 15th February 2024

Planning applications for Axiom employment site proposals and Castleford Tigers stadium redevelopment approved

Planning applications for a major upgrade to the Wheldon Road stadium and Axiom site have been approved

wr sr main stand 1.jpg

 On behalf of the owners of the Junction 32 site and Castleford Tigers RLFC

Planning applications for Axiom employment site proposals and Castleford Tigers stadium redevelopment approved

Planning applications for a major upgrade to the Wheldon Road stadium and a significant new employment development on the Axiom site, at Junction 32 on the M62, have both today (Thursday 15 February) been approved by Wakefield Council’s Planning & Highways Committee.

Mark Grattan, Castleford Tigers RLFC Managing Director said:

“Our historic Wheldon Road home has long been in need of significant modernisation. Today’s decision by the planning committee members marks another major hurdle cleared. We are grateful to Wakefield Council’s planning committee members for backing their officer’s recommendation today.

“We are also grateful to Wakefield Council for the £2 million of funding through their Rugby League Resilience Fund, which will be invested in Wheldon Road. In addition, the multimillion pound private sector investment provided by the Axiom proposals will deliver a stepchange for the club, enabling us to secure the long-term future of the club and place us on a more equal footing with other professional rugby league clubs.

“Castleford Tigers supporters have been hugely patient and we sincerely hope that patience will soon be rewarded, when we have high quality facilities to match our rivals.”    

A spokesperson for Axiom Yorkshire, owners of the Junction 32 site said:

“Wakefield Council has been rigorous in their approach to these two planning applications, and we are grateful to both the planning committee members and the officers for the decision to approve both proposals.

“As the site is within the Green Belt, the Axiom application will be referred to the National Planning Casework Unit who will advise on whether the decision by Wakefield Council requires further scrutiny before formal planning approval is given.

“We would like to offer our sincere thanks to the thousands of people who supported the Wheldon Road and Axiom proposals. We will provide a further update in due course.”

The circa £200 million Axiom Yorkshire proposals will deliver around 141,000 sq metres of new employment, logistics and manufacturing floorspace, providing around 1,830 permanent full-time jobs in Castleford, with a further 365 ‘spin-off’ jobs created within the Wakefield Council area. During construction approximately 1,500 on and off-site construction jobs per year are likely to be generated at both Wheldon Road and the Axiom employment site.

Once fully operational, this significant job creation at the Axiom site is calculated to generate around £142 million of local economic activity per year. The Axiom site will also provide approximately £3.2 million per year of additional Business Rates when fully occupied.

The Axiom proposals will provide £12.2 million of funding towards major upgrades at Castleford Tigers’ Wheldon Road. A further £2 million is being provided by Wakefield Council’s Rugby League Resilience Fund.

Axiom will also deliver £17 million of highways improvements to the Junction 32 roundabout.

Wheldon Road will benefit from a new all-seater main stand. As well as much improved ‘back of house’ sporting facilities for players and officials, a banqueting suite and corporate hospitality function rooms will provide new opportunities for income generation. Upgraded facilities at Wheldon Road will deliver major improvements to be enjoyed by all fans, including new catering facilities and toilets. Importantly, improved accessibility and much enhanced viewing areas will transform the matchday experience for fans with disabilities.