Fears have been raised for the future of a sporting village in Workington, which was to replace the abandoned stadium project.

Plans to build a new stadium at the site of the current Reds home of Borough Park were thrown out six weeks after an independent-Tory administration took over from the previous Labour executive at Allerdale council last year.

The £25 million stadium, with associated NHS and office facilities for nuclear workers, was to be replaced with a smaller sporting village project.

But Will Wilkinson, an independent councillor representing the St Michael's ward, has raised doubts over its viability due to the impact of coronavirus on council's finances.

At next week's full Allerdale council meeting on Wednesday, coun Wilkinson will ask the executive to look into the possibility of extending the football club's lease at the site to 75 years, to secure its future.

His proposal will say: "Due to the failure of the new community stadium last year, and more recently the Allerdale Sports Village project, Workington AFC are now in a perilous state.

"Workington AFC's ambitions are to redevelop Borough Park, and establish a community sporting hub to embrace the sporting ambitions of local people across West Cumbria.

"This has massive potential to build on their current success and further improve the health and wellbeing of Allerdale, for further generations to come.

"But the problem that the new ambitious board of directors face is that they have under five years left on their existing lease and could actually become homeless when this expires in 2025. The reds have occupied this site continuously since the 1930s.

"With such a short period of time remaining on the lease Reds are finding it impossible to access funding or grants of any description to carry out improvement plans or to implement any new infrastructure."

But councillor Mike Johnson, interim leader, said coun Wilkinson was misinformed and that the sports village project had not failed.

He said: "There have been visits to different facilities and since then we have met with Reds and Workington Town and reinvigorated talks with them.

"Discussions are still progressing and are very constructive.

"We're hoping to start seeing something moving on site in the next couple of years."

He added the clubs were now taking a more leading role on the project.

Les Byers, chairman of Reds, confirmed that the short lease meant that any request for funding from bodies such as Sport England or the National Lottery could not be submitted, as there is requirement to hold a minimum lease of 21 years.

"With the situation with coronavirus, we have started the process again with a blank sheet of paper and the clubs are getting more involved to access the funding themselves, it would be much more of a partnership going forward."