THESE are the first images showing how York’s multi-million pound new community stadium could look, as developers get ready to unveil outline plans in the New Year.

Tim Atkins, the stadium’s project manager, said the developers, Oakgate Ltd, were hoping to submit an outline planning application to City of York Council in February.

He said this would include proposals for a new 6,000-seater stadium at Monks Cross for York City FC and York City Knights Rugby League Club, as well as plans for a huge shopping development on neighbouring land.

As previously reported in The Press, this retail development is seen as crucial to providing the commercial cash needed to fund the stadium project.

Mr Atkins said: “We have worked very hard just to get to this stage. Much of that work has had to be conducted behind the scenes, often with little to show in the public arena.

“At times this has led to doubts about us, our credibility and our desire to make this stadium a reality. But I’m pleased to say we’re finally in a position to change all that, and we can now begin lifting the lid on this project. Make no bones, we intend to make this community stadium a reality.”

Yesterday, Mr Atkins and other key figures behind the stadium project came together at York’s Guildhall to pledge their commitment to building the community stadium, as well as a new home for City of York Athletics Club, by 2014.

Kersten England, chief executive of City of York Council, Jason McGill, chairman of York City FC, Neil Hunter, from City of York Athletics Club, and Mr Atkins all put pen to paper to sign a memorandum of understanding.

But conspicuous by his absence was York City Knights’ chief John Guildford, who said the club could not commit to the project until they were given more specific information.

He said: “I’m totally confused with it all and until we have a proposal I don’t know how we can say yes or no.”

Mr Atkins said he was “very disappointed” Mr Guildford had decided not to sign the agreement.