MOVING IN TO A NEW STADIUM
June 21st 2012 could prove to be a day that the Wildcats fans will never forget after the Secretary of State passed approved planning permission for the Newmarket development that will include a brand new stadium for Wakefield Trinity Wildcats, securing the long term future of the club.
The 12,000 capacity stadium will be situated off junction 30 on the M62, three miles north of Wakefield city centre. The development is expected to be complete in time for the Wildcats to move in as anchor tenants at the beginning of the 2015 season and will be owned by the Wakefield & District Community Trust which will also provide much needed sporting facilities for the district.
The decision for the go-ahead was far from straight forward as the Trinity faithful will be well aware. A planning inquiry into the development took place during December 2011 after the initial application was called in in 2010. The opposition came from Leeds City Council who cited the use of greenbelt land and a possible blurring of boundaries between Leeds and Wakefield as their issues.
The final outcome was expected to be delivered in May 2012 before it was delayed twice more until the green light was given for the project on June 21st. A crucial point in the process came the week before the public decision where the Local Framework report freed the 240 acres of land of the former Silkstone Colliery site from greenbelt status. This enabled the land to be available for development for commercial use while rejecting the claims any development would erode the boundaries between the cities of Wakefield and Leeds.
The news brought guarantees to the famous old clubs future while the outcome also brought to an end years of false dawns for Wildcats supporters after a number of new different stadium proposals. This achievement could not have happened without the hard work and determination of a number of organisations including, the club, Wakefield District Council, Wakefield and District Community Trust, Yorkcourt Properties, SWAG (Stadium Wakefield Action Group) and Residents for Newmarket.
"We can all look forward to a fantastic sporting future for Wakefield.”CEO James Elston
The state of the art facility will be all seated along the touchlines while the traditional terracing will be situated behind the posts to increase the supporter experience. The whole Newmarket development is expected not just to benefit the Wildcats but other sports organisations and the wider local business community. 2,000 jobs will be created through the development which will provide a massive boost to the local neighbourhood and economy.
The Trinity Chief Executive James Elston said at the time: "Just over a year ago we went on record saying we had secured the immediate future of the club and the news today gives us the next 100 years of life of Wakefield Trinity Wildcats.
“It is also excellent news for the district as a whole which has been desperate for facilities of this quality for a long time with our strong links with the local community we can all look forward to a fantastic sporting future for Wakefield.”
Meanwhile the Wildcats Chairman Andrew Glover was keen to praise the work behind the scenes: “I’d echo the words of James and I’d like to thank the work that took place before I took ownership of the club, and the work from SWAG and Sir Rodney Walker at the Wakefield & District Community Trust.”
ON FIELD FUTURE
While preparations for a new stadium are well underway the club have high aspirations on the field too as Trinity build for the future. With Richard Agar at the helm the future is bright and there has been vast improvements seen since his arrival at the beginning of the 2012 season.
The Wildcats brought in 18 new players in Agar’s first pre-season to add to the new coaching staff at the Rapid Solicitors Stadium which was the start of the on field transformation. The club are expected to trump their 13th place finish in the 2011 Super League this year as the foundations are being built to build a squad to challenge for a play-off spot in years to come.
With the proposed new stadium at Newmarket the club have stated such a state of the art facility will help entice players to the club with the long term stability secured.
The club are in their first year of a three year Super League licence which runs until the end of the 2014 season and the Wildcats are extremely confident with a brand new stadium to move into the following year, not only a future in the top flight of European rugby league lies ahead but a future that will see Trinity starting to compete in the latter stages of all competitions.