The proposed Stadium for Cornwall development appears to have suffered a fatal blow after the community interest company (CIC) supporting the long-running project pulled the plug.
The Stadium for Cornwall CIC confirmed it had “voted to cease co-developing the project in its former capacity” after it emerged last week that Cornwall Council had opted against submitting the project to central government for so-called “levelling-up” funding.
The stadium would have been the new home of Cornish Pirates, the English Championship second-tier rugby union club, and Truro City Football Club.
However, major doubts were raised about the future of the project after it missed out on securing a £14m capital grant in the UK government’s 2021 autumn budget.
CIC chair Martin Tucker, who is also principal of Truro and Penwith College, said: “Board members of the Stadium for Cornwall CIC were incredibly disappointed to learn last week that Cornwall Council was withdrawing support for the culture bid being worked on by the CIC as part of the government’s levelling up fund programme.
“The reason given to the CIC for the withdrawal of culture bid support was a reluctance from both the Council and local MPs, to see funding going towards the stadium project at the expense of other projects that might go for funding in future rounds of the levelling up programme.”
Tucker confirmed that Truro and Penwith College will no longer be involved in any proposed stadium development on the Langarth site near Truro in southwest England.
Initial plans foresaw the construction of a 6,000-capacity stadium that could be expanded ultimately to hold 15,000 spectators.
Cornish Pirates CEO and trustee of the CIC Rebecca Thomas added: “It is extremely disappointing that after many years and seemingly making good steps towards the Stadium for Cornwall facility that it has now come to this.
“We have worked tirelessly as one of the stadium partners to deliver a facility that would benefit the whole of Cornwall, providing top-level sport, community and business use.
“The Cornish Pirates Ltd Board still remain committed to securing further investment to develop a facility that will enable Truro City Football Club to return to the county and that will allow the continued ambition of providing top-level rugby in Cornwall.”
Image: Stadium for Cornwall