Conference News: Designs For New Shay Stadium To Go On Show

Councillors working in partnership with the Shay Stadium Trust intend to submit a planning application before Christmas with the intention of starting building work on the East Stand early next summer. The aim is to complete the bars, restaurant, functions rooms, community space and hospitality suite by Christmas 2008.

The Weaver's Bar will be pulled down to create more parking and the stand, which has been left half-finished for the past five years, will have seating for 3,500 spectators.

That will give the stadium an overall capacity of nearly 10,000.

Calderdale Council will pay for most of the work with money it expects to receive in the future from commercial developments in other areas of the Shay complex.

Halifax Town, Halifax RLFC and the Shay Stadium Trust will fit out the various rooms, which will be used for fund-raising events.

Councillors agreed in April "a minimum scheme" to provide facilities for players and spectators that met the requirements of the governing bodies for football and rugby league. The cabinet last night decided that it should incorporate community facilities, conference and banqueting rooms to improve the stadium's economic sustainability.

David Kirton, the council's regeneration and development spo-kesman said: "We will have a sports stadium that benefits far more people and can be used seven days a week rather than half a day, as it is now." Roger Simpson, chairman of the Shay Stadium Trust, said: "This gives the possibility of a financially viable future for the Shay as well as ensuring regular use."

Fans can see the full designs at an open day at the Shay on Sunday, December 2, between noon and 4pm.

Reporter: Michael Peel