A STADIUM proposed for Workington could now be funded over half a century by lease payments of almost £100m.

The council is now looking to go down the investor-developer route to fund the stadium rather than borrowing £25m as originally proposed.

The borough council’s executive is set to consider the detailed businesses case on Friday (March 22) which sets out the alternative funding model.

Under the plans, the authority would use a developer to finance and build the stadium.

The council has insisted that this would avoid them having to borrow money to pay for the stadium.

They have said that it will also allow the council to use £6m already set aside from the capital budget to be spent on other key council initiatives.

The council has stressed that the investor/developer model would mean that no increase in council tax would be required to fund the stadium over its lifetime.

The developer option is possible because the plans include space for NHS facilities and office space for 300 Sellafield staff on long-term leases.

Rugby chiefs confirmed earlier this week that they have a back-up plan in case Allerdale fails to get its proposed stadium built in time for the World Cup.

The 8,000-capacity sporting venue was a cornerstone of the borough council’s successful bid to host the event in 2021.

The total lease payment over 50 years would be £95,210,685.

The second model assumes a 40 year lease of £71,036,289.

Under the plans, the council would sell a long leasehold to a Pension Fund – for example – and the investor would then work with the developer to build the stadium.

Once the stadium us completed, the investor would then lease it back to the council or operating company.

The tenant – the council or stadium company - would then sub-lease the office space and the pharmacy to Sellafield and the NHS.

At the end of the lease, providing all rent has been paid, there would ultimately be an option to own the stadium outright.