A crucial meeting on funding for the Rugby League World Cup is due to take place this week. The North West Regional Development Agency (NWDA), is being wound-down and it is looking to break agreements worth nearly £1m made with the tournament organiser: the RFL. At a meeting the NWDA is due to review its budget for the next few years and decide which of its agreements it will honour.
David Mowat has raised this matter in Parliament in order to ensure the agreed funding is in place and the UK and the North of England isn't embarrassed by having to pull out of delivering the tournament. David Mowat is now urging the NWDA to provide that funding so that the North West will feel the benefits of staging the tournament.
Mr Mowat said:
"The NWDA need to consider the wider impact this will have on the region. I know the Sports Industry Research Centre at Sheffield University calculated that the total economic activity that will be generated by the World Cup is in excess of £24m in the North West alone. When you think about how much rugby league means to the North West and particularly to Warrington, it would be ridiculous if we were unable to have our fair share of games and lose out on that vital financial income.
"The decision resides squarely with the NWDA and I am highly disappointed that they are trying to renege on signed contracts. I appreciate that Regional Development Agencies are being wound up and there are hard choices to make, but I would stress to anyone involved in the decision at the NWDA on the World Cup, that this is one way they can leave a lasting legacy in the region they have been supporting for many years."