Plans to create a sports village have taken a step forward after a major fact-finding mission.

Representatives from Workington Town rugby league club, Workington Reds football club and Allerdale Borough Council have visited stadiums in the north west of England.

The Peninsula Stadium in Salford, Broadhurst Park, home to FC United of Manchester, and the Halton Stadium, where Widnes Vikings play their home matches were all visited by the group to see what sort of shared community stadium all parties would like to see developed in Workington.

Allerdale agreed back in June last year to continue working on the business case for a new community stadium in Workington, after initial plans for a shared 8,000 capacity venue were rejected, which meant the loss of 2021 RL World Cup games coming to the area.

But they did say that it would be a scaled back version of the original plans.

George Kemp, Allerdale’s Executive member for environmental services, said: “The stadium visits were a fantastic learning experience and we will be using the information gained to help form our plans in Workington. It is important that the sports village is a real community asset and benefits as many people as possible.

“We will continue to talk with both clubs and will be gathering as much information as possible to make these plans a success. As a council we are committed to providing better sporting facilities right across the borough.”

It is proposed that the sports village would be constructed on the current site of the Borough Park stadium, home to Workington Reds, and would be part of the wider regeneration of the Lower Derwent Valley area of the town.

Les Smallwood, chairman of Workington Town, said: “As a club we want to play in the best stadium we possibly can. We should never underestimate the social and economic impact of sport, particularly with kids from disadvantaged backgrounds.

“We want rugby league players of all ages to be able to play their chosen sport in modern facilities and aspire to be the best they can through sport.

“The visit was interesting and we now look forward to hearing what Allerdale’s plans are to bring stadia into the modern era not only for Town but more importantly for the youth and future of West Cumbria.”

John Mackay, chairman of Workington Reds, echoed his views. He said: “It was a very informative day spent visiting three different stadiums which enabled the group to see different aspects of design and construction.

“Discussing potential options and ideas with those members of the council present left me feeling much more positive about the potential construction of new facilities for not only Town and the Reds but also the wider community of West Cumbria.

“New modern facilities are urgently needed not just for the two sporting codes but for West Cumbria in general as we want all aspiring youngsters to want to play for their local clubs in facilities that are fit for purpose in the 21st century.

“Sport plays a vital role in the lives of many either through participation or as a spectator. The benefits to both health and wellbeing cannot be underestimated. We need to be able to inspire future generations to lift their own sporting aspirations to the best they can achieve at their chosen sport by providing the best facilities possible.

“Having seen what is possible it is now vital that progress is made with actions from all concerned to turn potential into reality for the present as well as future sporting generations.”