Workington's multi-million-pound stadium will not automatically go ahead even if it is given planning permission next month, the new leader of Allerdale council has revealed.

The future of the whole project is hanging in the balance following the local council elections, which saw the Independents win a number of seats.

The former Labour-led executive wanted a new shared venue for Workington Reds and Workington Town, with the 8,000-capacity arena the linchpin of their successful bid to host the Rugby League World Cup 2021.

But councillors, who previously branded the project an expensive vanity project, are now in the driving seat, having formed a new shared administration made up of Independents and Conservatives.

Plans to demolish Borough Park, home of Workington Reads, to make way for the stadium are due to be discussed by Allerdale council’s planning panel on Tuesday June 4 where they have been recommended for approval subject to conditions.

But Marion Fitzgerald, who became the leader of Allerdale council earlier this month, said: “Even with planning permission, this does not mean that the project will necessarily go ahead.

“The stadium project was the subject of a ‘call-in’ and, as a result, it has been referred back to the executive committee.

"The members of the new executive are likely to be having their first formal meeting at the end of June.”

The plans were called in by the cross-party overview and scrutiny committee in January, when councillors agreed the original decisions should stand.

But they were then called in a second time in April amid concerns over the business case.

This time the committee decided to refer the business case back to the council’s executive, the makeup of which has completely changed since the election.

Planning chiefs have recommended that the stadium plans are given the green light when they are discussed next month.

Permission would be conditional on the signing of a section 106 agreement guaranteeing a puffin crossing on the A597 at a cost of around £80,000, bus stop improvements costing around £15,000 and improved footpath lighting costing more than £10,000.

Under the agreement, a footway would be created along the south side of the A597 between the Tesco roundabout and Church Street costing around £24,000.

The council previously confirmed that Reds are still due to make the temporary move to the Derwent Park ahead of the planned demolition of Borough Park, with work continuing to make the rugby ground match-ready for the football team’s arrival.

But the Reds still have a six-year lease left at Borough Park and have said they are not going anywhere without cast iron guarantees the stadium will be built.

The club is facing a “number of issues” which require “large amounts of money” with the club’s safety certificate due to expire at the end of this month.

The club only just scraped through last year’s annual inspection and it could cost up to £150,000 to bring Borough Park up to scratch.

The chairmen of both clubs have agreed that the best-case scenario for the community, for the respective teams and for the future of sport in the area would be for the stadium to go ahead.