Gaining Planning Permission and funding of major projects takes a long time. Stadiums need planning permission and raise construction and operating funds.
Over the years other projects’, competing commercial interests, and their tactical approach of Judicial Review, delayed the original already in place commercial funding of this community project. Planning and legal matters with Cornwall Council also needed to be discussed. There was also the world financial crash and Covid.
Prior to Covid an approach had been made to Government and agreement for their funding contribution almost reached. This discussion has been reopened and a decision is hoped for in November 2021.
This is a facility largely for the community. The sporting, health and educational facilities it will contain will form the main part of the business model essential to the income to provide this community facility.
Private funding is already committed to this and match funding from the Government will be required to complete the funding package and allow the business model to be activated.
Nothing fundamentally, it’s the same core project but it has new health, education and community uses on non match days which make it a better facility for the people of Cornwall all year round.
These are innovative projects within the stadium. Health is at the centre of the agenda with education also being a very important part of the project. Truro & Penwith College, who are partners in the project, will provide educational facilities including a business centre for investment in Cornwall.
The business plan was accepted by Government pre Covid, although undoubtedly there were people in Cornwall who expressed concerns based on other major projects which have needed support to stay open.
The Stadium Partners, that is, the Cornish Pirates Limited which is the football and rugby clubs, with the Truro and Penwith College, have improved the whole project and that has made the business plan more robust.
The plan has been worked with independent experts from Cornwall who understand the local economy, and national experts who understand specific sectors to make it deliverable, including sufficient profit to reinvest in the Sport Cornwall Foundation and their projects to improve health and wellbeing in the community.
Mr Evans has used his own funds to pay for much of the development costs so far. This is all ‘at risk’, ie he gets nothing back if it doesn’t happen. He has also committed to a further £2m for the build costs.
The Stadium is not a private project, it is a community owned asset which has relied on his largesse to reach the current point.
Funding is key. The main aim is to build the stadium with the already available private funding together with match Government funding.
When that decision is known construction of the stadium can start, or laying a suitable pitch with temporary facilities will be the alternative and can commence sooner.
Far from it. Truro City Football Club will play there more often than the Cornish Pirates Rugby Club. Other sporting teams, including touring sides and local tournaments will have the opportunity to use it.
With excellent digital infrastructure and a robust all weather surface it will be able to host digital gaming events, concerts for as many as 10,000 people and major indoor and outdoor events.
The facilities break down into four core components: Pitch, Main Stand with ground floor, second floor and top floor.
On match days it is a sports stadium with concourse, food and drink and VIP hospitality.
On non match days it is a health and rehabilitation centre, gym, café, event arena, College education building and conference centre.
Advanced technology and concussion management professionals will be based there. This will be available for anyone with a head injury concern. This will not replace GP or hospital care, but add to it.
Everyone in Cornwall and beyond have the opportunity to visit, to take part in something special, be that a business conference, a sports event or a music concert.
For students studying in the education unit the normal Truro College buses will offer daily transport.
For specialist sports, or other concussion or rehabilitation needs, this will be more accessible than travelling to specialist medical services in Manchester and London and will be the first in the country for some diagnostic and treatment services.
Location, competing commercial interests and traffic congestion.
Location was settled upon following a Cornwall Council funded review of 27 sites across the whole of Cornwall. Langarth was their decision based on a central location for the bulk of the Cornwall population and the available public travel and parking facilities. Additionally road access for the airport and the improved A30 road were also a consideration.
Initially, the stadium was to be funded by retail interests. This led to competing commercial developments using many tactics, including Judicial Review, to stop the stadium. That source of income is therefore no longer available and match funding from the Government is sought. Once built no public funds will be required as a robust business operating model has been designed.
Traffic congestion caused by stadium sporting use has been aired as a problem and is considered not to be so due to the limited sporting usage, eg rugby matches will be an around fifteen days a year predominately at the weekend. Likewise, football matches are mostly confined to the weekend afternoon when other traffic use is reduced. Rush hour traffic is during weekdays and at different times to matches, and the park and ride facility is next door for parking.
The Planning process is complicated and many legal areas have to be satisfied. This takes time and is affected by Council staffing shortages, legal argument, objections, and many other things.
No, the Stadium will provide an office and funding for the Sport Cornwall Foundation which will run health and wellbeing projects across Cornwall.
These will be based in Leisure Centres and at playing fields so the activity funded by the stadium will build numbers of people using their local sports facilities.
Sportva Kernow, Stadium for Cornwall, a Sports, Health & Education campus which will be a rallying point for Cornish pride, the community and a centre for the promotion of health and wellbeing within the county.