New stand to heighten Old Trafford stature


Lancashire Old Trafford Cricket Ground Image: Manchester Evening News

Lancashire is planning to construct a new two-level 4,850-seater stand which would earn Emirates Old Trafford Cricket Ground the label of being the biggest cricket ground in the country outside London.

If planning permission gets the go-ahead, construction work on the new stand will begin. The new stand will come up stead of the Red Rose Suite and face directly on to Brian Statham Way. It is expected to be ready for the October 2022 season.

The Lancashire County Cricket Club now wants to enlarge the capacity of the facility to 26,700 after filling the historic venue throughout this summer’s cricket World Cup and Ashes Test.

The decision to enlarge the stands comes in the midst of Trafford Council revealing plans for a new ‘Civic Quarter’ to come up over a 120-acre site which will also take in the Town Hall, the cricket ground, the former Kellogg’s site including new UA92 campus, stretching up to the A56/Chester Road and White City retail park.

The proposals envisages building a new leisure center, new space for homes and offices, upgraded cycle and pedestrian routes as well as a possible new public piazza and ‘processional route’ which would link Emirates Old Trafford with Manchester United’s Old Trafford.

The new stand at Lancashire will be equipped with a heritage centre, ticket office and retail shop, and will offer more facilities to members. It will face directly on to Brian Statham Way.

After a successful summer of cricket at the ground, the club will make announcement in the next spring as regards profits which have reached record level. The club is also planning an extension of the existing Hilton Garden Inn hotel.

The ground is being overhauled and the expense so far has come to around £61m. It has not yet been revealed what will be the price tag of the new stand.

Puts in club Chairman David Hodgkiss, “The new stand, which will replace the Red Rose Suite, will complete the redevelopment of Emirates Old Trafford which is now an award-winning, world class and all-encompassing stadium.”

Lancashire Cricket Club is committed to ensuring Emirates Old Trafford is one of the best places in the world to watch and play cricket, both at domestic and international level and the new stand, which includes a pitch-view suite, will further enhance the facilities for Lancashire members,” he remarked.

Hodgkiss also said, “It will transform that area of the ground and will make Emirates Old Trafford one of the largest cricket stadiums in the country.”

The vision for sprucing up the wider area, known as the draft Civic Quarter Area Action Plan, is also gaining momentum and residents will be consulted on the proposals in early 2020.

The leader of Trafford Council, Cllr Andrew Western, stated, “We are really excited about these recent developments – the establishment of a Civic Quarter presents a fantastic opportunity to further develop local amenities, improve community use of the area and completely transform our public spaces. It aims to create a fantastic place for those who live and work here.”

“The people of Trafford are at the centre of these plans becoming a reality. We will consult with residents every step of the way as we continue the journey to creating a vibrant and amazing Civic Quarter,” Western added.

Lancashire Cricket Club is laughing all the way to the bank – in April this year an operating profit of £2,387,000 for 2018 – an increase on the previous year, was announced.

Old Trafford hosted six World Cup games including the India vs Pakistan match this summer, which attracted 700,000 ticket requests and a humongous global TV audience.

The UA92 University, set up by a cohort of former Manchester United footballers on the former Kellogg’s site, will also put forward suggestions for further development plans subject to public consultation in November.

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