A VOCAL supporter of a new stadium for Workington said West Cumbria has been sold down the river.

Brian White had organised a march as well as a petition from local businesses in support of building a new stadium in the town in time for the Rugby League World Cup.

His comments came after Allerdale council confirmed it has officially informed the organisers of the RLWC that it will not be able to host the tournament in 2021.

Mr White said: "I've just had the pleasure of travelling over to Toronto with the Halifax team and supporters.

"They were all genuinely disappointed that we have missed out on the World Cup games. Some of the supporters had considered attending a game as part of a Lakeland visit."

The borough council had made a successful bid to host the sporting event in 2021, but has now backtracked saying it would not be able to meet RLWC’s tight deadlines nor its requirements.

Under the plans, the stadium on the site of Borough Park would have been shared by Workington Red and Workington Town, both of which are in desperate need of new facilities.

A scaled-back version of the Workington venue is now due to be considered amid claims that the venture in its current form is too expensive and would put the council under “considerable financial risk.” The cost has been branded a "£95 million liability" by leading councillors.

Office space and a pharmacy included in the stadium plans would have been sub-let to Sellafield Ltd and the NHS.

Mr White said: "From the business case information that is in the public domain, it is clear that the £95 million liability is untrue, as it does not include any rental incomes that would have been guaranteed by signed leases, thus mitigating any liability by millions.

"If you buy into adversarial politics, you sell West Cumbria down the river."