Rhinos receive council stadium backing

Leeds Rhinos’ Chief Executive Gary Hetherington has welcomed the decision by the Leeds City Council Executive Board to back the proposal for a third-party investor to provide up to £35 million for the redevelopment of Headingley Carnegie Stadium.

The Rhinos have also pledged £5m towards the total cost of the redevelopment which will secure top-level international sport at Headingley.

Hetherington said: “This is really good news and a significant step towards our plan to bring the redevelopment of Headingley Carnegie Stadium to fruition.

“Councillor Judith Blake and her team at Leeds City Council are to be congratulated for managing what has been a very difficult and complex issue extremely well.

“Both Leeds Rhinos and Yorkshire County Cricket are grateful for their support and we now hope to make a final announcement in the near future.

“There are still a number of outstanding issues to be worked through but we are confident they can be addressed. It is a good day for the City, the County, Yorkshire County Cricket, Leeds Rhinos and Yorkshire Carnegie.

Cllr Blake added: “I am pleased that executive board has backed the deal which we have arranged with a private third-party investor to fund the redevelopment of Headingley Carnegie Stadium.

“It’s vital for both the city and the region that Headingley continues to host high-class international and domestic sport.

“With the tight timescales which are involved for this work to begin, this route offers the best and most viable option moving forward. As part of this agreement, the cost of financing the development will be met by both the rugby and cricket clubs at no cost to the tax-payer.

“Headingley is a historic sporting venue recognised around the world. In hosting top-class matches it brings a large international profile and significant economic benefits to Leeds and the wider region.

“The impact of having elite sports men and women playing at Headingley is also in many ways bigger than the sports themselves.

“The power they have as role models to inspire young people in our communities cannot be underestimated and neither is the ability through their success from a personal and team perspective to instil great pride in our city.”