Industry News

Headingley development plans boosted as investor confirmed

Plans to redevelop the Headingley cricket stadium in Leeds have been boosted by a new investor ready to commit £35m (€40.3m/$43.4m).

The BBC reports that Leeds City Council leader Judith Blake said a previous scheme to fund the initiative has “gone” and a new strategy will now be put in place.

Doubts were raised recently over the project after the council withdrew a £4m grant from the work, leaving one of the venue’s tenants, Yorkshire County Cricket Club (CCC), unable to host national team games after 2019.

However, Blake said she is “confident we have a way forward” and now expects plans to move ahead.

The development project includes a new south stand on the rugby ground and a new joint stand that overlooks the rugby pitch and cricket ground.

In addition to the cricket club, Headingley is home to the Leeds Rhinos rugby league team and Yorkshire Carnegie rugby union outfit.

Mark Arthur, chief executive of Yorkshire CCC, has said that a financial services company is prepared to build the facilities and rent them to the three clubs. He added that the new deal “would safeguard international cricket at Headingley for the foreseeable future”.

Work is due to begin at the end of May, with the project set for completion before the start of the 2019 cricket season. Should the deadline be met, Arthur said that Headingley would be able to host games for the 2019 Cricket World Cup.

Arthur added: “There is still a long way to go, however, it is a significant step in securing the future of international cricket at Headingley.

“Yorkshire County Cricket Club will continue to work hard to ensure that all remaining funds are in place to ensure that the redevelopment is completed in time for the Cricket World Cup in 2019.”