World cup bid cash is secured

WIGAN’S hopes of hosting the Rugby League World Cup have received a massive boost.

The North West Development Agency (NWDA) has finally now agreed to honour an earlier pledge to provide more than £1m of funding to bring the prestigious event to the region in 2013.

The confirmation came in a letter to Makerfield MP and RL fan Yvonne Fovargue from its chairman Robert Hough.

She has campaigned through Parliament to get the quango – which is being abolished by the Government next March – to stick to the deal struck in 2009. Wigan is one of a number of regional districts across the RL heartlands which has put in its own bid to stage the games at the DW and Leigh Sports Village Stadia. It is being supported by Wigan council, Wigan Warriors, Leigh Centurions and the Ashton Wigan and Leigh NHS Primary Care Trust.

Ms Fovargue today expressed her delight at the NWDA decision after she raised concerns in the Commons that the NWDA were set to “renege on contracts” to support the competition. She said that this would have thrown the viability of the whole competition coming to the North West into question.

But she said today: “It is reassuring to know that the NWDA recognises the importance of the 2013 Rugby League World Cup and is now committed to a successful tournament.

“A lot of work has already been done. So the NWDA’s announcement means that we can now move on safe in the knowledge that we have the support we need, here in the North West, to ensure that the 2013 Rugby League World Cup is one of the jewels of the golden decade of sport in this country.”