Castleford Tigers have given an update on planning applications for the club’s stadium redevelopment and Axiom major new employment site proposals.
Castleford Tigers and Axiom Yorkshire Ltd, have today provided an update on the public consultation and timescales for the planning application relating to plans for a major upgrade to the Wheldon Road stadium, and for the proposed employment development on the Axiom site at Junction 32 on the M62, which could create up to 2,000 jobs for local people.
The planning application for the upgrade to Castleford Tigers’ Wheldon Road stadium has been prepared and will now be submitted at the same time as the connected planning application by Axiom Yorkshire Ltd, which would replace the approved Axiom retail and leisure development at Junction 32 with a new employment development. The planning applications are intended to be submitted to Wakefield Council in August.
If both planning applications are successful, funds raised by the proposed new employment development would supplement Wakefield Council’s £2million grant to Castleford Tigers via their Rugby League Resilience Fund to directly fund the planned works to Wheldon Road. This mirrors the mechanism recently approved which is providing funds to redevelop Wakefield Trinity’s Belle Vue ground. The major upgrades to Wheldon Road can only be delivered with the funds provided by the employment development proposed at the Axiom J32 site.
Before both planning applications are submitted, there is still time for local people to have their say. Over 25,000 leaflets have been distributed around the local area to encourage feedback via a Freepost form. Details of the proposals can be found online at www.axiom-j32.co.uk. The website includes an online form to enable people to comment.
Castleford Tigers’ plans for Wheldon Road include a new Main Stand, which would be all-seater and provide much needed new facilities for supporters, including pitchside viewing areas for fans with disabilities. The new Main Stand will house modern changing rooms for players and officials, alongside new medical facilities. On the upper level, a banqueting area and hospitality suites are proposed.
A roof and new terracing will be installed at the Railway End, along with further new hospitality suites to replace the existing facilities in this stand. Upgrades will also be made to the Princess Street Stand and Wheldon Road End.
The connected planning application for the Axiom site at Junction 32 will be partly in outline, and focus on providing up to 140,000 sq m of new employment and commercial space which could create over 2,000 full time jobs, alongside around 650 jobs created during construction. The employment development proposals will also see around £16 million of private sector investment at the Junction 32 roundabout, as well as other local highways improvements.
Mark Grattan, Castleford Tigers RLFC Managing Director said: “It has long been recognised that Wheldon Road needs a serious upgrade, to significantly improve the experience for supporters and also to bring the stadium in line with RFL required standards. Without exaggeration, the proposals that we have will, if approved, transform the fortunes of the club both off the pitch and on it.
“The connected Axiom plans are currently being finalised ahead of both planning applications being submitted. Before we submit, we want to encourage as many local people as possible to get involved in the consultation process and have their say by visiting the project website and completing a feedback form.”
A spokesperson for Axiom Yorkshire, owners of the Junction 32 site said: “Once delivered both of these proposals will have a significant positive impact on the area. Not only will Wheldon Road Stadium receive very long overdue improvements, Castleford, Pontefract and the surrounding area will receive a major economic boost from the Axiom employment plans.
“We would like to thank everyone who has attended the consultation events or provided their comments on the proposals so far. We are currently working through the feedback, with a view to making amendments to the plans where possible. However there is still time to comment and we would urge people to have their say and provide feedback on both proposals.”