HUDDERSFIELD'S troubled McAlpine Stadium is being given another bail-out by Kirklees Council.
The council will help the struggling stadium company by taking on repayments for multi-million pound debts.
Responsibility for repaying a £3m slice of a £7m bank loan will be transferred to the council.
The move follows a £200,000 council loan to the stadium earlier this year when Huddersfield Town football club fell behind with rent payments.
Council chiefs said today the latest move would secure the stadium's long-term financial security.
Talks aimed at getting greater community use at the stadium will be opened with McAlpine managers in the next few weeks
Tony Elson, the council's chief executive, said the new financial set-up was a fresh start for the stadium partnership.
He said: "In effect this is an investment in the stadium that guarantees its long-term survival as a thriving commercial enterprise.
"The short-term loan from the council to KSDL earlier this year will be repaid and other financial commitments met.
"The council will have a share of any surpluses generated in the future. The football and rugby clubs have agreed to honour all of their financial commitments to KSDL going forward."
The council will be repaying its £3m share of the debt in instalments over 20 years.
Kirklees Stadium Development Limited will continue to make payments on the remaining part of the loan.
The council had acted as guarantor for the £7m loan when it was originally taken out.
Earlier this year when the football club went into administration there was a real risk that KSDL would go out of business if the club went into liquidation.
That would have meant the council having to pay off the £7m loan.
The new arrangements were agreed by the council's cabinet at its meeting yesterday.
Mr Elson said: "It is a solution that we would have wished to avoid if we could have, but it is a lot better than having to pay out £7m for a stadium that would not have a professional football team using it.
"People who have followed the story over the last few months know how real a possibility that was."
The council and the football club each have a 40% stake in the stadium, with the remaining 20% held by Huddersfield Giants.
Ken Davy, chairman of Huddersfield Giants and owner of Huddersfield Town, said: "It is very encouraging for the town as a whole that the council has taken this step.
"It should at a stroke remove all the uncertainty that has surrounded the stadium development for some time."
He said he was keen to further develop the stadium as a strong community facility.
The £30m stadium complex - which opened in 1994 - was launched with a £2m council investment.
Mr Elson said: "The stadium partnership has succeeded in its objectives of providing a state-of-the-art home for the partner clubs, a variety of community events, a focus for fresh investment opportunities, and a flagship of confidence in Huddersfield and Kirklees.
"Clearly, the financial positions of our partners in KSDL have changed in recent months.
"We have been working very hard together to ensure that we reach a long term and viable position."
Related stories and messageboards