Halton Council has defended its decision to agree a deal with a bailiff company to sponsor a council-owned sports stadium.

The deal for the sponsorship of Halton Stadium, the home of Widnes Vikings, revealed by the Local Democracy Reporting Service last week, has already seen one councillor resign from the local authority’s executive board in protest and several other councillors are understood to be uneasy about the agreement.

The baillif firm DCBL – known for appearing in a Channel 5 television show – are the new sponsors of the stadium.

In a brief statement, a council spokesperson said: “We have been looking for a new sponsor for some time since the last contract ended and this will provide income for the stadium which is a valuable facility for the local community.

“DCBL are a local firm who want to invest in the area.”

Halton Stadium, home of the Widnes Vikings, has been without a sponsor since 2017 when the last deal with Select Security came to an end.

The ground has recently struggled to meet its income targets, especially following the Vikings’ relegation from Super League last year.

The value of the DCBL sponsorship deal, which will see the stadium renamed the DCBL Stadium, has not been made public, but it is believed to be a three-year deal.

Last Thursday, Cllr Andrea Wall announced that she had resigned as member without portfolio after learning of the deal.

She said: “I have raised urgent questions about it since I found out over the weekend. I have made it very clear that I am very unhappy with a bailiff sponsoring the stadium, totally disagree with it and want it stopped.

“I have worked for years trying to help people in poverty and if this deal continues, I will continue to call it the Halton or Widnes Stadium and refuse to recognise any new name as a result of this deal.”

Council leader Rob Polhill declined to comment on Cllr Wall’s resignation.

DCBL moved its head office to Runcorn in February 2018 and also sponsored this year’s Halton Business Awards.

The company’s CEO, Gary Robinson, said he thought the deal would be “beneficial” to the borough and stressed that his company had “the most ethical teams in the country”.