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Ageas Bowl set for redevelopment

The Ageas Bowl, home of Hampshire Cricket, is set for significant renovation work as part of plans for the stadium to host more major internationals and other events.

The plans are designed to transform the existing infrastructure at the Ageas Bowl and underpin the financial sustainability of the 15,000-seat stadium.

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

The project will rely on unlocking value from a proposed residential development scheme, the income from which would be used to redevelop the stadium and accelerate the pay-down of legacy debt.

The residential development to the west of the stadium will feature 103 houses and 80 apartments and would use existing car parking space. A “high-quality” independent living facility, housing 71 ensuite units, is also proposed to the southwest of the stadium.

The development calls for a widening of the stadium footprint to allow an increase in capacity while enhancing the fan experience, which is designed to attract more high-profile matches to the venue.

The plans would see two new car parks built, doubling the amount of on-site space available and resulting in the creation of new access points which would significantly improve traffic flow on match days.

Enhanced visitor arrival infrastructure, featuring a new fan village, has also been proposed, while the existing clubhouse for Boundary Lakes Golf Club would be relocated to reduce pressure on road infrastructure immediately adjacent to the venue. The course itself would also receive “significant” enhancement.

Additionally, a new hotel comprising 135 double bedrooms and a large event space has been proposed to complement the existing Hilton at The Ageas Bowl. A new well-being centre is also included to the northwest of the stadium, with the space to accommodate a range of health services such as physiotherapy, GP medical consultation rooms, a pharmacy, opticians, a pilates and yoga studio, and a gymnasium.

“The sharing of our transformational plans with the public is an incredibly exciting moment,” said Rod Bransgrove, chairman of The Ageas Bowl. “These ambitious plans represent the fulfilment 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 being encouraged to put forward their feedback for consideration while a model of the proposed development is on display in the reception of the Hilton at The Ageas Bowl.

The Ageas Bowl hosted the inaugural final of the International Cricket Council (ICC)’s World Test Championship last year. The stadium also hosted the return of Test cricket following the COVID-19 pandemic as England welcomed the West Indies on July 8, 2020.

Image: Dominic Lockyer/CC BY 2.0/Edited for size