DCSIMG

Talks on a new football stadium for Millers next to shopping centre

ROTHERHAM United could get a brand new stadium next door to the giant Parkgate shopping centre.

Council bosses are in talks with Stadium City, the developers of Parkgate Shopping, about building the new community stadium on land just yards from the retail complex.

The new stadium would be used by both Rotherham United and Rotherham Titans rugby team, and would be a centre for a wide range of community activities.

Talks are at a very early stage and it is understood traffic problems in Parkgate could be a major factor in whether the stadium goes ahead.

The council is also refusing to speculate on the extent of its financial involvement in plans for the new stadium.

News of the talks come just two weeks after Millers fans, including Rotherham Council leader Roger Stone, staged a massive show of support before the Wycombe game, calling for a community stadium.

The Millers are desperate to get away from the crumbling Millmoor ground and the high rents they pay to its owners, the Booth family.

Today Coun Stone told The Star: "I can confirm that we are in talks with Stadium over a possible site at Parkgate, but these talks are in their very early stages.

"There is land down there which could be used for a stadium which would bring together the soccer and rugby clubs and which could be used for a wide range of community activities.

"Stadium have been receptive to our ideas and talks are continuing. But there are a lot of things to be ironed out. One problem could be the traffic situation at Parkgate and whether this could be addressed.

"At this stage I don't even know whether this is a starter, and I don't want to comment on how much financial involvement the council is likely to have. But this is something we are looking at very seriously."

Stadium - which opened the Parkgate shopping centre more than a decade ago - has tried unsuccessfully to get planning permission to extend it.

Last time traffic problems were said to be one of the factors why it was refused permission.

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