Lancashire County Cricket Club has paved the way for an exceptional, leading edge, sports-led regeneration scheme which is set to safeguard the future of cricket at Old Trafford.
In the 150th anniversary year of Old Trafford, the Club has passed a major milestone in its redevelopment plans by signing a significant collaboration agreement with partners Trafford Borough Council, Ask Developments and Tesco.
The cricket ground will form the lynchpin of an anticipated 750,000 sq ft development which will have at its heart a new 25,000-seater stadium on its historic site, with new stands, conferencing and banqueting facilities and hotel, and education, training and other sports opportunities for the local community.
Various options for development are now being considered. The development partners are considering a mixed-use scheme of significant quality with business space, residential, retail, hotel, leisure and other supporting development with a potential end value of £190m. More than 2,000 new jobs could be created by the development.
Options for the best possible design and layout of the site for the retail and other elements are to be identified in a new masterplan for the overall site, but it will be fundamentally a highly sustainable development, embracing Metrolink and the prime driver being the anchoring of a new Test Venue as its centrepiece.
Lancashire CCC Chief Executive Jim Cumbes said, "the Old Trafford brand has a massive standing in world cricket. The club has been on the same site since 1857. Our membership and cricket lovers everywhere recognise the contribution that the club makes locally to the economy through visitor attraction, image, marketing and employment in the Borough.
“Together with our local partners, the North West Development Agency and Sport England, we will work towards delivering a scheme which will have at its heart a new stadium fit for the next 150 years, and which will be recognised as world-class standard, fit for the UK’s greatest sporting city region and serving the huge cricketing hotbed in the north west.
“I am delighted that a Partnership of this calibre can now work up the solution to fund this major international sporting initiative and deliver huge economic benefits for the region. Together we make a formidable team and can harness all our capabilities to realise the full potential of the site for our membership, residents, the wider community and visitors.“
Leader of Trafford Borough Council Susan Williams said, "we welcome the signing of this collaboration agreement as a major step forward in securing the future of world class cricket in the Borough and look forward to working with our partners over the coming months to bring the scheme to fruition”.
For Tesco, Tony Fletcher, Property Communications Manager North West, said, "Tesco are very pleased to have this opportunity, in conjunction with our other partners, to use our combined expertise to identify the best possible options for this exciting development, from both a regeneration and a sporting perspective."
The partners will be reviewing all of the development options available over the next 6-12 months with a view to identifying the preferred development scheme early in 2008. Detailed discussions with both the North West Development Agency and Sport England, both of whom have expressed an ongoing desire to support this important regional and nationally significant sporting and regeneration initiative are ongoing.