Following five consecutive years during which LCCC was able to publish significant surpluses, it was always envisaged that 2009 would be a challenging year due to the impact on the Club’s trading activities during ground development and the knowledge that LCCC would not be hosting a Test match for the first time since 2003.
Despite incurring a loss after taxation of £546,000, the actual reported performance is better than originally expected when preparing the long term Business Plan in late 2007.
In addition to the disruption to core non-cricket business activities caused by building work, trading through a recession affected all business streams, particularly car parking revenue and hotel occupancy.
Cricket was not immune to the downturn, with reduced attendances for domestic cricket, in particular. This factor demonstrates the difficulty a Category "A" ground has in creating surplus funds in a non-Test match year, whilst still trying to maintain the facilities required for staging international cricket.
Despite this 2009 was treated as an opportunity to invest in the future. As well as the continued building of the new grandstand, incorporating The Point, the preparation and lodging of the detailed planning application for Phase II of the ground development, LCCC continued to write down the major cost of the marquee erected in 2008 which has been used to maintain and grow the core catering business. LCCC's capital investment in Phase I of ground development, totalling £15m, has continued into 2010 and, only days away from completion on the main works, the Club remains on time and budget.
These are, without doubt, difficult and challenging times for the Club. However, with the continued support of the Club's bankers, the local authority and other development partners and, what we hope is the impending approval of our recent planning application by Government North West to develop the remainder of the stadium, LCCC is faced with an exciting future.
The Club's Annual General Meeting will be held in The Point at Old Trafford on Monday 21st June at 7pm.
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