Representatives from Workington’s two major sporting clubs will join leading councillors from Allerdale on a national stadium tour in the new year.

The move is part of a reconnaissance mission to gather ideas on how a new shared stadium for Workington Town and Workington Reds might look.

The executive voted down the previous administration’s multi-million-pound plans, dashing Cumbria’s Rugby League World dreams and disappointing the two clubs.

However, the Independent-Tory leadership has consistently said that it has not ruled out a new stadium, previously agreeing to look at a scaled-back version.

News of the tour emerged as Councillor Peter Kendall revealed that he had spotted council leader Marion Fitzgerald taking photographs at a recent meeting of the Industrial Communities Alliance held at Warrington Stadium.

He told Wednesday's meeting that he got the impression Coun Fitzgerald had been impressed by the venue and speculated that she may be considering something similar for Allerdale.

He also reminded her of the big banqueting suite which generated in weekly revenue, with two floors receiving yearly funding from the NHS.

The NHS – along with Sellafield Ltd – had been among the organisations considering renting space in the stalled stadium mooted for West Cumbria.

Coun Kendall also pointed to other examples of sporting venues across the country, including the Nottingham Forest ground, which boasts its own IT suite.

Coun Fitzgerald told the meeting she was always open to ideas but stressed that she was not sure the Warrington stadium was the right model for Workington.

She said: “But what I will say is that the discussions with the two clubs are continuing.

“And in the new year, we are planning to visit together a number of sports complexes elsewhere to gather more ideas – and to find the best fit for us.”