English Super League club Castleford Tigers are looking to revamp their Wheldon Road stadium rather than relocate to a new venue.

Rugby league club Tigers have confirmed that they are in discussions with Wakefield Council about the possibility of staying at a revamped Wheldon Road rather than relocating to a proposed new stadium at Junction 32 of the M62 near Glasshoughton.

This would coincide with the Axiom scheme at Junction 32 being refocused away from retail and leisure uses, with a high-quality employment and commercial development being proposed in its place.

Subject to securing the investment necessary, key elements of the club’s proposals would be to demolish and rebuild a new Main Stand, and modernise the existing Princess Street Stand, Railway End and Wheldon Road End.

A rich mix of new facilities, including food and drink outlets and hospitality suites would enhance the match day experience for fans, while new conference facilities and meeting rooms would boost non-match day income, and enable the club to further enhance its work within the community.

Wakefield Council has said it will give up to £2 million to Castleford Tigers as part of a new Rugby League Resilience Fund to invest in their current stadium and improve community use. 

Castleford Tigers would use this investment to help towards funding a major redevelopment of Wheldon Road to bring the club’s famous home up to modern standards. 

Mark Grattan, Castleford Tigers RLFC managing director, said:

We welcome the Council’s announcement on making a contribution towards our plans to improve our home stadium on Wheldon Road. There is already an urgent need to invest significant sums to keep Wheldon Road functioning as a Super League ground. 

Being realistic about the timeframes to deliver the retail and leisure development with the new stadium following the COVID-19 pandemic, from the club’s perspective we believe that the time is right to explore the option of staying at our historic home. We believe that, although major new investment is needed to improve the existing stadium, this would now be in the best long-term interests of Castleford Tigers.  

The Axiom retail and leisure development has full planning approval and a number of retail and leisure operators in place. However, with the immediate impact of the COVID-19 pandemic still being felt by the retail and leisure sector, the likely start of construction had been further delayed.

The Junction 32 site, next to the M62, is ideally located to take advantage of strong demand for employment and commercial space which currently exists. An 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.