Inside the Council: Should council run the Shay?

The Shay Stadium, Halifax.
The Shay Stadium, Halifax.

I’m sure readers will be aware of the controversy around the offer from Reactiv Media to purchase and invest in the Shay Stadium.

I’ve made it clear that in considering this – or any other proposals – my first priorities are that the clubs are guaranteed continued access to the stadium; and that the continuing investment needed to maintain and develop the stadium can be achieved.

The Council’s investment in completing the main part of the East stand was brave but right; the ground now really offers very good facilities; and we should be proud that it was chosen in July to host the final of the Northern Rail Cup, and that it will be the venue for a Rugby League World Cup game in November.

But at present, it’s costing the Council over £200,000 a year to run the Shay. Not everyone thinks that’s a good idea – at least one Brighouse councillor has been very critical of the Council spending anything at all on a sports stadium in Halifax, for example! On the other hand, I know how passionately rugby and football fans feel about their clubs, and about the ground.

Let’s be clear about this – no decision has been taken so far, whatever the rumour mill might say.

In fact, it’s very unlikely that there will be any quick decision.

So this gives us the chance for everyone to have their say– football fans, sport fans, and everyone. Please, join the discussion!

By Councillor Tim Swift