Green light for two new Lord’s stands


Lord's Tavern and Allen stands development approved Image: MCC and WilkinsonEyre

Members of the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) have given the go-ahead for the redevelopment of the Tavern and Allen Stands at Lord’s Cricket Ground in London.

Lord’s said the £61.8 million project, which was put to the Club’s 18,000-strong membership at its AGM last week, will provide improved catering, hospitality and accessibility, as well as increasing the overall ground capacity by an additional 1,100 seats.

The 31,100-capacity Lord’s Cricket Ground, commonly known as Lord’s, is a cricket venue in St John’s Wood, London (UK). Named after its founder, Thomas Lord, it is the home of Middlesex County Cricket Club, the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) and the European Cricket Council (ECC).

MCC Members’ approval comes after Westminster City Council’s Planning Committee unanimously resolved to grant planning consent to the Tavern and Allen project at a meeting on 16 April.

Lord's Tavern and Allen stands development approvedImage: MCC and WilkinsonEyre

MCC is now ready to enter the construction phase of the redevelopment, due to begin in late September, at the end of the cricket season. The Tavern and Allen stand project follows the successful completion of the redevelopment and significant improvement to the Compton and Edrich stands, a £53m project that was completed in 2021.

John Graham Construction Ltd is the preferred bidder for the main contract to build the development and MCC will now proceed to finalise the contract with them over the coming weeks.

The Tavern and Allen stands are situated close to the principal Members’ entrance at Lord’s through the Grace Gate. As well as accommodating Members and guests, this sequence of buildings leads to the iconic Grade II-listed Pavilion.

Architects WilkinsonEyre were appointed last year to draw up design proposals to enhance the sense of arrival at Lord’s while meeting a clear requirement to modernise and improve the facilities in this area of the Ground. The resulting stands will provide a harmonious new contribution in keeping with the existing architecture at the world-famous sporting venue.

Lord's Tavern and Allen stands development approvedImage: MCC and WilkinsonEyre

The redevelopment will see an extra tier added to both stands. In the Allen stand, this will be facilitated by the relocation of the scoreboard. In the Tavern stand, it will involve the introduction of a new cantilevered fourth floor seating level above the retained existing structure, which is extended back to the site boundary.

In keeping with MCC’s sustainability commitments, the project has been designed to a BREEAM ‘Excellent’ standard. The steel framework of the existing Tavern stand is set to be retained, which is estimated to save 613.7 tonnes of CO2 (the equivalent of 18,361 train journeys from London to Bath).

The existing Allen Stand dates to the 1930s and will be demolished entirely. A link bridge between the Allen Stand and the Pavilion will also be demolished and rebuilt in the upper tier in a move welcomed by Members.

The Tavern stand’s unique roof profile, designed by WilkinsonEyre, is inspired by the shape and ribbed construction of a series of upturned traditional slip cradles, and continues the theme of innovative architecture around Lord’s.

The construction of the new stands will be completed in 2027, with scheduled pauses for cricket during the 2025 and 2026 seasons.

Lord's Tavern and Allen stands development approvedImage: MCC and WilkinsonEyre

Robert Ebdon, MCC Estates Director, said, “The redevelopment of the Tavern and Allen stands will complete our stand development programme, in which we have modernised facilities at Lord’s to continue to ensure the Ground remains a world-class venue for cricket.

“The stands will also strengthen the Club’s already-impressive sustainability credentials, and we are looking forward to the construction phase and working closely with our consultants Buro Happold, Gardiner & Theobold and Arcadis.”

Jim Eyre, Founding Director at WilkinsonEyre, said, “We are delighted to achieve approval for the sustainable revival of these stands at Lord’s, and continue our successful partnership with MCC. The new designs will add great value to this world-famous sporting venue, modernising and improving the existing facilities for its members.”

Rob Joyce, Development Director at John Graham Construction Ltd, said, “We are thrilled to embark on this transformative project at Lord’s Cricket Ground. Our partnership with MCC will deliver world-class sporting infrastructure while preserving the rich heritage of this historic venue.

“Together, we aim to enhance the Members’ and public spectator experience, expand capacity, and usher in a new era at the iconic Home of Cricket. This project represents a significant milestone in our ongoing commitment to shaping vibrant, sustainable communities through exceptional construction projects.”

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