Lancashire Cricket and its home stadium, Emirates Old Trafford, have today (Wednesday) launched a campaign aimed at sharing the knowledge and best practice gained from hosting behind-closed-doors Test matches.

The third Test between England and the West Indies concluded at Emirates Old Trafford yesterday, with the home team clinching the series 2-1 with a 269-run win over the tourists. Emirates Old Trafford also hosted the second Test, with the Manchester venue adapting to a new reality in which “everything has changed”.

Fresh from staging the matches, Emirates Old Trafford has now unveiled ‘Safe in One Place’, a new initiative that highlights the measures required to host events, in line with current UK government guidelines.

Following the recent announcement by Prime Minister Boris Johnson that business events, conferences and exhibitions will be given the go ahead to reopen on October 1, and in recognition of the impact COVID-19 has had on the events industry, Emirates Old Trafford is releasing guidance publicly showing how the venue has taken learnings from the bio-secure environment that enabled it, together with the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB), to safely host 300 people across the venue for behind-closed-doors Test cricket.

A document outlining key learnings and best practice is now available for download via the Emirates Old Trafford website. The guidance includes the very latest practical information to ensure event organisers and venue operators in the UK understand how they can work and host business events and conferences, while keeping both guests and staff safe.

The Emirates Old Trafford website and social media channels will also display a range of content over the coming days aimed at arming event professionals with the key insights and practical learnings. This includes behind-the-scenes venue footage, infographics, case studies and interviews featuring a host of staff members and stakeholders who played crucial roles in the rigorous risk assessments and re-writing of operational procedures that enabled the venue to meet government standards and host international cricket.

In a further step, Emirates Old Trafford will host a virtual roundtable with a panel of leading industry figures that will be free for event professionals across the UK and beyond to join. The session will take place on August 7 at 3:30pm BST and will feature representatives from Emirates Old Trafford, Marketing Manchester and Ian Nuttall, founder of TheStadiumBusiness, as well as the Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham.

Lancashire Cricket chief executive, Daniel Gidney, said: “The Safe in One Place campaign is all about sharing the knowledge and experience that we’ve gained turning Emirates Old Trafford into bio-secure environment with the wider events industry.

“What we are doing at the moment with behind-closed-doors cricket and working in conjunction with the ECB is industry-leading and this has provided us with a blueprint to move forwards and understand what events will look like in the future. We are effectively currently the only large events venue in the country that is operating and have developed strong operational discipline.

“Lancashire Cricket and Emirates Old Trafford are committed to doing all we can to help lead the way back for the industry. As a world-class venue that hosts many non-cricket events, we understand acutely just how hard the market has been impacted by the Coronavirus pandemic and how vital it is to have clear guidance to enable the hosting of commercial events, which are the lifeblood of the industry.

“We appreciate the responsibility that all venue owners and operators have in ensuring the safety of event attendees and hope that the information we are making available today, and in the coming weeks, will prove valuable as we all prepare to safely welcome guests back to our destinations. Manchester, and many other towns and cities across the UK, rely heavily on events to underpin their local economy and employment. The sooner the industry is able to restart the more jobs and business can be saved in our local communities.”

Burnham, who is personally supporting the campaign, added: “It’s been great to have the eyes of the world on Greater Manchester these last few days as our friends at Lancashire Cricket and Emirates Old Trafford have shown that they can safely stage Test cricket in a world-class venue.

“We are all very proud of the team at Emirates Old Trafford for the work they have done to turn it into a safe and secure venue. As a city-region, we pride ourselves on the diverse number of major events we host and getting this industry back up and running is of huge importance, because we need to bring people back into our towns and cities to support our local economy.

“With the experience Emirates Old Trafford now have in delivering live, top-class cricket with all the relevant safety measures implemented, both they and Greater Manchester are able to provide guidance to others as the events industry looks to re-establish itself.”

Following on from the West Indies series, international cricket will return to Emirates Old Trafford next week as England face Pakistan in a further Test match (August 5-9) and three T20 internationals (August 28, 30 and September 1).

For more information, and to register your interest in the webinar on August 7, visit https://emiratesoldtrafford.lancashirecricket.co.uk/webinar-signup/

Image: Lancashire Cricket