THE multi million pound redevelopment of Keighley Cougars’ stadium will be downsized due to the “reduced likelihood of promotion to the Super League.”

Last year, the Cougarmania Foundation, the charity arm of Keighley Cougars, was granted planning permission for a new 2,000 seater stand, and the demolition of the club’s existing stand.

The work would be partially funded by a grant of over £2m from the Keighley Towns Fund – a £33m pot of cash awarded by Government for the regeneration of Keighley.

Plans for the Rugby League club's site also include new community classrooms, a café, fitness studio and health suite that would be used by players, but also open to the public.

The club hoped the improved facilities at its Hard Ings Road home would help with its goals of ascending to the Super League.

However, last year Keighley Cougars was relegated from the Betfred Championship, denting the clubs goal of rising to the top tier.

Now a planning application has been submitted to Bradford Council to reduce the scale of the new grandstand, with the club saying there is “reduced likelihood of promotion to the Super League.”

The application looks to amend the grandstand designs that was approved by planning officers last year.

“The design brief has changed following the relegation of Keighley Cougars RLFC to the next tier of the rugby league and the reduced likelihood of promotion to the Super League.

“Following the securing of towns funding, inflation has required Keighley Cougars to reduce the size of the grandstand to enable the development to be deliverable within the current framework model available.”

The proposed changes to the plans were discussed at a meeting of the Keighley Towns Fund board last month.

The board is made up of local business leaders, the town’s MP Robbie Moore and representatives from Bradford Council. The board helps allocate which schemes are funded, and monitors the progress of the schemes.

The December meeting, which was not open to the press and public, heard that work was being done to re-design the approved plans due to a mix of rising costs and the club’s relegation.

The minutes to the meeting say: “As the team have now been relegated capacity has been reduced to a minimum of 500 seats, however, there is capability to increase this in the future if they get promoted.”

A decision on the application is expected in March.