Major plans to overhaul Lancashire Cricket Club have been approved unanimously.
Trafford council’s planning committee members all voted in favour of the plans for a new stand and hotel expansion at the Emirates Old Trafford site.
The plans will expand the capacity both of the cricket club and the Hilton Garden Inn Hotel next door considerably.
The project includes plans for a 1,025-seater stand; a heritage centre; a guest services hub; and a new retail store facing directly on to Brian Statham Way.
The new stand, which replaces the Red Rose Suite which will be demolished, will include enhanced pitch-viewing facilities for Lancashire’s Members, comprising a dual-aspect suite located within the spectator viewing terrace.
Also included in 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 rooms and increases the venue’s events capacity by up to 200 additional guests for conferences and events.
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The hotel expansion will provide new opportunities to host more large-scale events and connect Lancashire Cricket with the community.
The hope is for the venue to become a hub for Manchester and north west-based events.
The latest proposal replaces one previously approved by Trafford council in 2019.
The plans site within the civic quarter area of Old Trafford, which the council plans to regenerate through its ‘civic quarter action plan’.
The hope is to provide opportunities for new homes and offices, and improved pedestrian and cycle routes in the area around Lancashire Cricket Club as well as the possible development of a new public piazza and ‘processional route’ linking the cricket club with Manchester United’s Old Trafford stadium.
Daniel Gidney, chief executive at Lancashire Cricket, said: “This is fantastic news for the 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 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.”
Coun 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.
“The Emirates Old Trafford stadium sits right in the heart of our Civic Quarter Masterplan which covers a 120-acre site taking in the Town Hall, the University Academy 92 (UA 92) campus, and stretching up to the A56/Chester Road and White City retail park. Trafford council has invested heavily in the borough’s town centres and communities and we are extremely proud of what we have achieved. Creating successful and thriving places and having pride in our areas are major priorities for Trafford council.”
Lancashire Cricket 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 eagerly anticipated Ashes Test Match at Emirates Old Trafford.