Industry News

Latest Lord’s expansion plans revealed

Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC), which operates Lord’s cricket ground, has revealed details of the next phase of development for the London venue.

The new Compton and Edrich stands will seat around 11,500 fans at the Nursery End of the ground, with work set to be carried out between 2019 and 2021. Capacity of the venue will be increased by 2,500 seats and the stands are expected to cost around £50m. The expansion will take the stadium’s total capacity to over 30,000.

As part of the plans, a walkway linking the two stands and overlooking the Nursery Ground will be introduced. MCC noted that fans in the Pavilion will still be able to view trees through gaps in and over the top of parts of the new stands.

Upgraded catering and toilet facilities will form part of the plans, with wheelchair-accessible spaces and lift access to be introduced at all levels. Additionally, debenture seating and restaurants will be included in the stadium’s middle tier, with three per cent of all seating to be allocated for wheelchair users or those with restricted mobility. MCC said this figure exceeds industry best-practice.

The proposals form the next part of the phased ‘Masterplan’ redevelopment project for Lord’s, with the £25m Warner Stand having been opened last year. It was the first stand to be rebuilt at Lord’s since the Grand Stand was finished in 1997.

WilkinsonEyre has overseen the design process of the two new stands. The architecture firm was responsible for the refurbishment of the Battersea Power Station.

MCC said a planning application will be submitted to Westminster City Council later this year following consultation with local residents. Should consent be granted, MCC members will be asked to approve the plans during the club’s AGM in May 2018. Work to demolish the existing stands would begin following next year’s Test against Australia.

It is hoped that seating in the new stands will be fitted during the 2020 season, with fully fitted-out facilities to be opened the following summer.

MCC chief executive and secretary Guy Lavender said: “MCC is committed to ensuring Lord’s remains the best place in the world at which to watch and play cricket. These new stands will transform the Nursery End, providing world-class facilities, opening up views both to the Pavilion and back towards the Nursery Ground, and adding another architectural enhancement to Lord’s.

“We are very aware of the responsibility we have to protect everything that makes Lord’s so special, and we are delighted with the positive feedback we’ve already received from our membership.

“As well as providing a significant improvement to capacity and facilities, the plans for the new Compton and Edrich stands complement beautifully the J.P. Morgan Media Centre, which was designed by Future Systems and is itself an award-winning building, well known to anyone who has watched cricket at Lord’s.”

Last September, MCC members voted overwhelmingly in favour of MCC’s updated masterplan, which maps out the redevelopment of the stadium funded from the club’s own resources. The plan is scheduled to run until 2032.

Image: Marylebone Cricket Club