A planning application for the 1st phase of an ambitious multi-million pound redevelopment of Keighley Cougars Rugby League’s ground at Cougar Park has been submitted by Riverside Design Studio Architects.

Initial proposals are to rebuild the main stand by completely stripping back the wooden structure to its original steel frame and create new seated terracing with new changing rooms, education facilities and function suites below as well as refurbishment of the adjacent single storey gymnasium.

The existing stand dates back to the 1930s and is in desperate need of major refurbishment. Keighley Cougars chairman, Gary Fawcett, said “It has received a lick of paint over the years, but otherwise has remained untouched. The new stadium would provide a focal point for the town and the benefits of the improved facilities would be felt by many people. It will give us more education space to work with school children from across the area. We already have a number of groups – such as toddlers and dancers – who use the facilities. It will improve provision for them, but also provide an excellent, modern environment for other people looking for a venue.”

The venture has the support of the Rugby Football League, whose chief operating officer Ralph Rimmer said: “The stadium already holds a special place in the hearts of the people of Keighley and this redevelopment will enhance its place as the focal point of the local community. The RFL will offer what practical help it can to assist Keighley Cougars realise their goal of providing a 21st-century facility that I am sure will encourage more people to become involved in rugby league.”

Riverside have worked closely with the club, construction professionals and the Council over the plans.