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Allerdale Borough Council to bid for Rugby League World Cup 2021

L-R: Councillor Michael Heaslip, portfolio holder with responsibility for sports development, Deputy Leader Mark Fryer and Leader of the Council Alan Smith.

Allerdale Borough Council’s Executive Panel has today (Wednesday 11 July) agreed to submit a bid to host Rugby League World Cup 2021 (RLWC) matches in Workington.

The Council has now launched its Cumbria-wide ‘Back the Bid’ campaign to encourage local people to support the bid, which has the potential to bring over £2.4 million into the local economy.

They will also work with local professional and amateur clubs and other stakeholders across the county, including the University of Cumbria, GLL, Lakes College, Sealy, Active Cumbria and M-Sport, to increase participation, improve facilities, increase visitor numbers to the area and improve the health of local people.

Allerdale has successfully hosted major sporting events in the past, such as the RLWC in 2013 and the Four Nations tournament in 2016, as well as the Tour of Britain and the Lakesman Triathlon, which have all given the area’s economy a boost.

Councillor Alan Smith, Leader of Allerdale Borough Council, said: “This is a very exciting prospect for Allerdale and Cumbria as a whole. It is the heartland of Rugby League and it is embedded in the local community. We want to engage and inspire people through the Rugby League World Cup, and we want to break down barriers to ensure the sport is accessible to all. The leisure centre in Workington is proof that we can increase participation for local people of all ages and abilities, and we want to build on that legacy.”

Councillor Mark Fryer, Deputy Leader of the Council and portfolio holder for economic growth, added: “The Rugby League World Cup has the potential to bring in substantial economic benefit to the area. We have a history of hosting world-class events in our borough for local people and visitors to enjoy, and we will strive to continue to do so. I can think of no better place to bring the World Cup as the people of Allerdale have a passion for the sport that is unmatched, and we need their support in backing this bid.”

Successful bids are to be announced in November and the Council would then enter into negotiations regarding a host city agreement. If you’d like to show your support, be sure to post your rugby-themed photos on social media using the hashtag #BacktheBid.

The Executive also noted the progress being made to build a new state-of-the-art stadium. The Council is working with Workington Town Rugby Club and Workington Reds to explore the possibility of the two clubs sharing the new ground once it is built. As yet no designs or a location have been decided on.

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