£60m Grace Road rejig plans major stride


Leicestershire CCC redevelopment takes major step forward Image: Leicestershire CCC

Plans for a £60m redevelopment of the Leicestershire County Cricket Club home ground – the Uptonsteel County Ground in Leicester, England (UK) – have taken a major step forward with the formation of a new working party.

‘LEICESTERSHIRE COUNTY CRICKET CLUB’ stated that the group has been formed to drive forward the transformation of the Leicestershire County Cricket Club’s home stadium and will include one of the leading figures behind Leicester City’s move to the King Power Stadium in Leicester, England.

The Leicestershire County Cricket Club is one of the 18 first-class county clubs within the domestic cricket structure of England and Wales (UK). It represents the historic county of Leicestershire. It has also been representative of the county of Rutland. The club’s limited overs team is called the Leicestershire Foxes.

The 6,000-capacity Grace Road Stadium, known for sponsorship reasons as the Uptonsteel County Ground, Grace Road, is a cricket ground in Leicester, England (UK). It is the home ground and administrative base of the Leicestershire County Cricket Club.

The 32,261-capacity King Power Stadium is a football stadium located in Leicester, in the East Midlands of England (UK). It has been the home of the English Football League (EFL) Championship club Leicester City since 2002 and was the stage as the club famously lifted the Premier League title (the highest level of the English football league system) in 2016.

London (UK)-based the English Football League (EFL) is a league of professional football clubs from England and Wales (UK). Founded in 1888 as the Football League, the league is the oldest such competition in the world.

The English Football League Championship, known simply as the Championship in England and for sponsorship purposes as the Sky Bet Championship, is the highest division of the English Football League (EFL) and second-highest overall in the English Football League system after the Premier League, and is currently contested by 24 clubs.

Steve Kind, currently a Non-Executive Director at the Leicestershire County Cricket Club, oversaw Leicester City’s departure from Filbert Street and will now bring his wealth of experience to the working party, which also comprises representatives from the Leicester City Council and the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB).

The 22,000-capacity Filbert Street was a football stadium in Leicester, England (UK), which served as the home of the Leicester City F.C. from 1891 until 2002. Although officially titled the City Business Stadium in the early 1990s, it remained known almost exclusively by its address, like many English football stadiums. It was demolished in the year 2003.

Leicester, England (UK)-based the Leicester City Council is a unitary authority responsible for the local Government in the City of Leicester, England. It consists of 54 councilors, representing 22 Wards in the City, overseen by a directly elected Mayor.

London (UK)-based the England and Wales Cricket Board is the national governing body of cricket in England and Wales. It was formed on January 1st, 1997 as a single governing body to combine the roles formerly fulfilled by the Test and County Cricket Board, the National Cricket Association and the Cricket Council.

Namita Patel, Community and Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) Director, will play an important role in liaising with the residents and the wider groups to continue the club’s commitment to giving everyone a voice during the period of consultation. A series of community focus groups have already taken place to inform neighboring residents about the proposals.

The working party met for the first time on May 31st.

Said Sean Jarvis, head honcho of the Leicestershire County Cricket Club, “The formation of the group is an exciting step forward as we work together to bring this hugely ambitious project to life. Many of the individuals involved have been there and done it when it comes to leisure developments of this size, so I am confident that the vast range of expertise sitting round the table can move things along at a pace.”

‘LEICESTERSHIRE COUNTY CRICKET CLUB’ further stated that the redevelopment proposals were first revealed earlier this year and extensive talks have been ongoing with a view to beginning the first phase of development in the Winter of 2023. Among the options being explored are the development of residential homes, healthcare and retail outlets.

The launch of an Academy of Cricket campus, which could host a wide range of academic activities including the world’s first MBA in cricket management, also forms part of the long-term vision for the project.

The other members of the working party include Bruce Cruse, Director of Facilities at the ECB, Tom Lo’Monte, Head of Capital at Leicester City Council, Ian Kendall, Director of Leisure Projects at the Leicestershire County Cricket Club, John Thorpe, Chairman, Leicestershire County Cricket Club, and Dan Archer, Stadium Manager, Leicestershire County Cricket Club.

Stated Steve Kind, “The redevelopment of Leicestershire’s home of cricket is long overdue and I am positive that this project will be the envy of the cricketing world when complete. For a project of this scale, it needs many minds coming together round the table and each brings their own set of expertise. I am pleased to see that everyone on this working party is committed to the same goal which is to make the £60m transformation a reality.”

Added Bruce Cruse, “The ECB welcomes Leicestershire looking at all options to create a sustainable long-term future for the club.”

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