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Design & Development

MCC members give green light to latest Lord’s expansion

Images: WilkinsonEyre

Plans have been approved for a new £61.8m (€71.7m/$77.3m) redevelopment of Lord’s, with the work to focus on upgrading the London stadium’s Tavern and Allen stands.

It is hoped that, following today’s (Thursday’s) announcement, construction work can begin in late September after the end of the cricket season. An extra tier will be added to both stands, with the Allen stand’s scoreboard to be relocated and a new cantilevered fourth-floor seating level to be introduced to the Tavern stand.

Members of Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC), which owns Lord’s, have approved the project, which will mark the second major development at the stadium in three years. A £53m project to redevelop the stadium’s Compton and Edrich stands was completed in 2021.

John Graham Construction has been named as the preferred bidder for the main contract to build the new-look Tavern and Allen stands, and the company will now work with the MCC to finalise the contract over the coming weeks.

The project will provide improved catering, hospitality and accessibility, as well as increasing the overall stadium capacity by 1,100. Westminster City Council’s planning committee unanimously resolved to grant planning consent to the project at a meeting on April 16.

In keeping with the MCC’s sustainability commitments, the project has been designed to a BREEAM ‘Excellent’ standard. The steel framework of the current Tavern stand will be retained, which the Club said would save 613.7 tonnes of CO2.

In April last year, the MCC appointed London-based WilkinsonEyre as the architect for the redevelopment of the Tavern and Allen stands. WilkinsonEyre previously worked with the Club on the Compton and Edrich stands.

The Allen stand, which dates back to the 1930s, will be demolished entirely. A link bridge between the Allen stand and the Pavilion will also be demolished and rebuilt in the upper tier.

The construction of the new stands is slated for completion in 2027, with scheduled pauses for cricket during the 2025 and 2026 seasons.

Robert Ebdon, MCC estates director, said: “The redevelopment of the Tavern and Allen stands will complete our stand development programme, in which we have modernised facilities at Lord’s to continue to ensure the ground remains a world-class venue for cricket.

“The stands will also strengthen the club’s already-impressive sustainability credentials, and we are looking forward to the construction phase and working closely with our consultants Buro Happold, Gardiner & Theobold and Arcadis.”

Rob Joyce, development director at John Graham Construction, added: “We are thrilled to embark on this transformative project at Lord’s Cricket Ground. Our partnership with MCC will deliver world-class sporting infrastructure while preserving the rich heritage of this historic venue.

“Together, we aim to enhance the members’ and public spectator experience, expand capacity, and usher in a new era at the iconic Home of Cricket. This project represents a significant milestone in our ongoing commitment to shaping vibrant, sustainable communities through exceptional construction projects.”

A new food and drink retail concept is set to launch at Lord’s this summer, courtesy of Freemans Event Partners. The MCC’s chief food and beverage officer, James De Groot, recently told TheStadiumBusiness.com about the plans for the ‘Food Village’, which is designed to streamline the purchasing process for fans.