The Ageas Bowl set to get future-ready



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The Ageas Bowl new development plan Image: The Ageas Bowl

Exciting plans to enhance fan experience and underpin the long-term future of cricket ground and hotel complex in Hampshire (UK) – The Ageas Bowl – was unveiled on February 2nd.

‘The Ageas Bowl’ stated that the vision of the landscape-led, sustainable development is to transform the existing infrastructure at The Ageas Bowl, while also underpinning the financial sustainability of an important community asset, the home of Hampshire Cricket, thereby helping to protect the legacy of the club and venue for future generations.

The 25,000-capacity Rose Bowl, known for sponsorship reasons as Ageas Bowl, is a cricket ground and hotel complex in West End, Hampshire (UK). It is the home of Hampshire County Cricket Club, who has played there since 2001.

In partnership with the Land & Development Advisory Limited (LDA), a team of specialist consultants have been engaged in the planning process to expertly guide the proposal to this pre-application stage.

‘The Ageas Bowl’ further stated that the scheme would rely on unlocking value from a proposed residential development scheme, the income from which would then be applied to redevelop the venue and accelerate the pay down of legacy debt.

The proposed residential development to the West of the stadium would provide a mix of units comprising 103 houses and 80 apartments and would utilize existing car parking space, which is currently not optimally sited. A high-quality independent living facility is also proposed to the Southwest of the stadium, housing 71 en-suite units.

Two new car parks, one adjacent to Botley Road and one adjacent to Charles Watts Way, would be built. This would double the amount of onsite car parking available and see the creation of new access points which would significantly improve traffic flow on matchdays, in particular relieving congestion on Botley Road.

Pedestrian access to The Ageas Bowl would also be enhanced, with new visitor arrival infrastructure proposed which would include a new fan village, providing additional facilities and amenities as well as deconflicting pedestrian and vehicle access to the venue.

The existing clubhouse for Boundary Lakes Golf Club would be relocated to off Moorhill Road as part of the proposal, further reducing the pressure on road infrastructure immediately adjacent to the venue and improving traffic flow on matchdays. The relocation of the clubhouse would be accompanied by significant enhancements to the Boundary Lakes course, making it one of the best in the area.

A new hotel is also proposed, comprising 135 double bedrooms and a large event space to complement the existing Hilton at The Ageas Bowl hotel currently on site. This new facility would offer required additional accommodation whilst also helping to attract larger conferences and events to the local area.

A new well-being center is included to the Northwest of the stadium which would accommodate a range of health services, such as physiotherapy, GP medical consultation rooms, a pharmacy, opticians, a pilates and yoga studio, and a gymnasium.

In addition, the development envisages a widening of the stadium footprint which would allow for an increase in capacity while enhancing fan experience. This would support The Ageas Bowl’s ongoing aspiration to host additional major international matches and events.

Additional finances generated via the development would allow the venue to accelerate repayment of a significant amount of legacy debt which would underpin financial sustainability and help to protect jobs at the venue and in the local area.

Remarked Rod Bransgrove, Chairman, The Ageas Bowl, “The sharing of our transformational plans with the public is an incredibly exciting moment. These ambitious plans represent the fulfillment of our original pledge to secure the long-term future of The Ageas Bowl and Hampshire Cricket whilst further enhancing our amenities for the local community. The plans have been expertly guided to this pre-application stage and we now look forward to receiving feedback from the public to assist us in shaping our final submission.”

The plans have been through a number of design iterations following consultation with the Council and the design review panel. The public are now encouraged to put forward their feedback for consideration while a model of the proposed development is on display in the reception of Hilton at The Ageas Bowl.

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