Leading councillors in Allerdale have moved to assure the public that the development of new proposals for a shared stadium for Workington is continuing “at pace”.

Controversially, the council’s executive voted in June to rule out the much larger and more ambitious multi-million pound venue proposed by the former Labour-led administration.

The new executive agreed to develop in its place a smaller, scaled-back version of the project which they said eliminated much of the financial risk associated with the scheme.

The move ended Workington – and Cumbria’s – dreams of hosting games for the Rugby League World Cup in 2021. The borough council made a successful bid to host the sporting event in 2021 but the games hang entirely on the creation of the arena in the form proposed by the former Labour executive.

Under the original plans, the stadium on the site of Borough Park would have been shared by Workington Reds and Workington Town, both of which are in desperate need of new facilities – and the council might still press ahead with this aspect of the plans.

Councillor Mark Jenkinson, who has the council’s economic portfolio, said: “We continue to have regular meetings with the clubs and other stakeholders, and the development of new proposals continues at pace – recognising the commitments that the executive have given, and balancing those with our duties to the wider borough.

“Information will be released whenever we can as proposals are agreed, and wider public consultation will be undertaken as planning applications and a new business case are developed.”

The executive had already decided that officers would “continue to work on the business case and that, in so doing, they reduce the size and specification of the stadium with a view to significantly decreasing the net cost and liability to this council.”

Speaking at the time of the original decision, council leader Marion Fitzgerald said the project in its original form would have placed the “council under considerable financial risk”.

It also emerged that the potential for a 15-year break clause in any tenancy agreement had “troubled” executive members.

The total income generated over the 50-year lifespan of the stadium would have been £239m.

The total expenditure would have been £170m of which £95m would be the re-payment of the capital cost, leaving a net surplus of £69m.

Economic benefit of around £2.5m a year which would have been spent around Workington and the wider West Cumbria area.

Under the plans, the stadium would have housed tenants including 350 Sellafield workers, a pharmacy and NHS facilities.

But Mrs Fitzgerald said she had seen “no evidence” of high level of commitment from either of the potential tenants in the run up to their controversial decision.

The stadium was also expected to deliver “community benefits” including inspiring the next generation of sporting talent