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Lancashire gets green light for revised Emirates Old Trafford plan

Lancashire Cricket has received approval for a revised redevelopment project that is set to complete a broader regeneration scheme for its Emirates Old Trafford ground.

A Trafford Council planning meeting approved the project, which includes plans for a 1,025-seat stand, a heritage centre, a guest services hub, and a new retail store facing directly on to Brian Statham Way at the Manchester stadium.

The new stand, which replaces the Red Rose Suite, will include enhanced pitch-viewing facilities for Lancashire’s members, comprising a dual-aspect suite located within the spectator viewing terrace.

Also included within the plans is a significant expansion of the Hilton Garden Inn Hotel, with a new extension situated within the existing stadium footprint. This includes provision of a further 100 bedrooms, taking the total hotel capacity to 250 on-site while increasing the venue’s events capacity by up to 200 additional guests for conference and events.

Lancashire said the hotel expansion allows the club to further build on the facility’s success since its opening back in 2017, providing new opportunities to host more large-scale events. The latest proposal replaces one previously approved by Trafford Council in 2019 but continues to align with the Council’s ambitious plans to transform the area around the Town Hall and surrounding buildings into a new ‘Civic Quarter.’

The Council’s plans for the area include opportunities for new homes and offices, and improved pedestrian and cycle routes. They also encompass the possible development of a new public piazza and ‘processional route’ linking Lancashire Cricket Club with Manchester United football club’s Old Trafford stadium.

Daniel Gidney, chief executive at Lancashire Cricket, said: “This is fantastic news for Lancashire Cricket, and everyone associated to the club. The new stand and hotel extension complete the redevelopment of Emirates Old Trafford and will further enhance our reputation as a world-class venue for business, sport and leisure.

“The decade-long £60m (€70m/$84.9m) redevelopment of the ground was undertaken so that the club could continue to host major competitions, matches and events, as it has done throughout its storied history.

“This redevelopment will play a key role in the club’s long-term financial strategy. The revised plans provide greater revenue generation opportunities in the short and long term and, crucially, enable us to upgrade Emirates Old Trafford’s facilities, increase our overall capacity and improve the event-day experience for all venue visitors.

“We’re looking forward to the successful completion the project, which will help us achieve our vision of establishing Lancashire Cricket as the best cricket club in the world. It’s an exciting chapter for both the club and venue, and also the region.”

Lancashire is scheduling for work on the development to commence in early 2022, with completion of the project anticipated for the 2023 cricket season, which includes an England v Australia Ashes Test match at Emirates Old Trafford.

Cllr Andrew Western, Leader of Trafford Council, said: “This is a fantastic development which will make Emirates Old Trafford a truly spectacular sporting arena and one of the biggest in the country. The scheme will also provide huge benefits to the local area in terms of employment and improved local amenities, and will keep Trafford firmly on the sporting world map.”

Images: Lancashire Cricket