WORK will not start on the Community Stadium until September this year, the council has said, and completion dates have been pushed back again until late next year.

The project is facing further delays, and it could be as late as 2019 by the time the football and rugby clubs can get into their new home.

The previous builder has already backed out of the project, and an update to councillors revealed yesterday that even if a new contractor can be signed up this summer, building has been delayed since the last timescale was set in December.

That timescale said building would start in May this year but that has now been pushed back until autumn; and the facilities' completion has been delayed from late summer 2018 until late 2018 or early 2019.

The same report confirms longer term plans for Yearsley Pool, which looked under threat when GLL was signed up as operator for the new stadium and all the city's leisure facilities.

The pool is to be open 91 hours a week, nine hours less than its current opening, with clubs allowed to hire the pool either during or outside normal hours.

Hopes that the pool could be taken on by a community group like Tadcaster Community Swimming Pool, York St John University or Nestle have also been quashed, and £300,000 of subsidy already promised from the council will be used to keep the pool running until 2024/2025.

York Press:

Beyond that, it will not be possible to know if GLL can keep running the pool until they have a final deal with the council for the new stadium complex, and that won't be known until later in the year.

Cllr Nigel Ayre, who is responsible for leisure and culture, said: “In 2015 the council administration set out a commitment to provide a sustainable long-term future for Yearsley swimming pool.

"Following the extensive consultation with stakeholders over the last two years we continue to be committed to ensuring Yearsley’s continued long term operation. The consultation has made it clear that the pool is a well-used and much-loved asset for local residents and sports clubs across the region.

"We also remain committed to working with our partners to deliver the community stadium and leisure facilities, after a delay to the project caused by the recent Judicial Review."

The report also says the financial side of the project still stacks up. "Good progress" has been made in tying up legal agreements with tenants in the commercial side it says, and the Investment Fund lined up to buy the commercial development is still on board. Legal agreements will be finalised at the same time as the design, build and operate deal with GLL.