Crumbling North terrace will be fixed for the Rugby World Cup

Council pledges money to fix North Stand at the Shay stadium'Pictured is business and development manager David Brook
Council pledges money to fix North Stand at the Shay stadium'Pictured is business and development manager David Brook

Calderdale Council has pledged to pay for the work as part of its bid to secure a fixture.

The council has been working on promoting the tournament and creating a lasting rugby legacy in the district.

That impressed a World Cup inspection team, along with the ground, on which the council has spent more than £5 million.

The Shay is one of 16 chosen venues and will host a group match and the ground will by then be able to accommodate fans on all four sides – the north stand is currently closed.

Money will now be found from next year’s budget to fund repairs.

Sports services manager Gary Byrnes said concrete blocks on the north terracing had shifted, leaving gaps and needed putting back in place and securing.

Fencing also needs to be erected from the turnstiles next to the East stand to the North stand. The cost is not yet known. “We will be going through a procurement process next year to look at pricing and potential sponsorship,” said Mr Byrnes.

It is hoped a sponsor could be found to fund an electronic scoreboard.

Cabinet spokesman Coun Barry Collins said: “The World Cup will be a tremendous boost for rugby league in Halifax and Calderdale.”

Fourteen teams will compete and matches will be televised to a global audience with the final on November 30, 2013.

Halifax RLFC, Calderdale Community Coaching Trust, Siddal ARLFC, Calderdale College, Calderdale Rugby League Service Area, ReativMedia, and hotels are all involved in promoting the match.

David Brook, council business and sport development manager, said everybody was committed to getting the ground as full as possible for the match between teams yet to be decided. Much work will be done in schools.

The ground has the potential to hold around 14,300 but a capacity figure can only be reached when all factors conform to the Safety at Sports Ground Act. That includes safety management, toilets, exit routes and medical provision.

Present occupancy is 8,568. Once work on the north stand is completed its occupancy level will be limited to 1,000, unless money could be found to also improve toilet facilities.

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