RUGBY World Cup dreams will be dashed for Cumbria if the Workington stadium falls through, the event’s chief executive has confirmed.

Jon Dutton was responding to uncertainty over the plans following a shock election result which saw Labour lose control of the council and throw the plans into turmoil.

Sporting chiefs have previously revealed that they have a ‘plan B’ if the Workington stadium plans are shelved.

But this will not be in Workington or anywhere else in Cumbria because there are “no viable alternatives locally”, with the hosting of games hanging on the new arena.

Mr Dutton, chief executive of the Rugby League World Cup, said: “We are aware of the leadership changes at the council and the potential impact this may have on the stadium project. Since the local elections we have, and will continue to have, dialogue with the council.

“We completed an open bidding process in 2018 and the impressive Allerdale bid included the new stadium.

“Our decision to host games in Allerdale was conditional upon the stadium being built as there are no viable alternatives available locally. As confirmed previously, we have a contingency stadium should the new facility not be developed in the agreed timeframe.

“This stadium is not in Allerdale or West Cumbria. We remain committed to working with the partners in Allerdale.”

The new administration includes councillors who have branded the multi-million project a “vanity project” and “Fryer’s Folly” after the authority’s former deputy leader.

Hopes for the future of the project were dealt a fresh blow last week after the new executive postponed a crunch planning panel meeting to give them “more time” to review the scheme.

Even if the new executive backs the stadium, the clock is ticking with not a sod cut and the first game of the tournament due to be played in October 2021.

This also leaves a question mark over the future of two of Workington’s biggest sporting teams, Workington Reds and Workington Town, who were due to share the new venue.

Reds’ chairman John Mackay has demanded a showdown with council chiefs amid claims they are being left in “limbo”, with a meeting due to be held in days.

The club, which is in desperate need of new facilities, is due to start its training in three weeks’ time and is due to play its first friendly in just over a month with the league starting in the middle of August.

The building of the venue would require Reds to move out of Borough Park while it is demolished to make way for the new stadium, leaving them vulnerable if the project were to fall through.

The club has said it is not prepared to leave their ground until they get cast iron guarantees it will be built.