Council bosses to consider £4m grant towards Headingley Stadium redevelopment

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A REQUEST to put £4m towards the major redevelopment of Headingley Stadium to secure international cricket at the venue will be considered by council bosses next week.

Yorkshire County Cricket Club has asked for Leeds City Council’s support for its £28.5m proposed redevelopment of the North-South Stand.

It says the redevelopment is needed to improve facilities at the ground to ensure it can host four matches in the 2019 Cricket World Cup and also for it to be considered to continue hosting international matches from 2020 and beyond.

The proposed redevelopment would see the existing North-South Stand demolished and replaced with a new three-tier stand with a capacity for 5060 spectators, an increase of over 1400 seats on the current stand. Corporate and hospitality facilities would also be upgraded along with improved connections to the rest of the ground.

The work on the new stand would be expected to realise economic benefits of £5.75m for Leeds and £5.3m of additional visitor spend in Yorkshire per year, as well as securing the benefits of hosting the 2019 Cricket World Cup which are estimated to be £20.5m.

It would also create 30 new full time equivalent jobs and eight new apprenticeships, the Council said.

Headingley has hosted Test matches since 1899.

The potential loss of international cricket being played at the venue would negatively impact on the profile of Leeds and Yorkshire on a national and world level, and the city’s bid to become 2023 European Capital of Culture, the council said.

Leeds City Council executive member for regeneration, transport and planning Cllr Richard Lewis said: “Yorkshire and cricket are practically synonymous and Headingley rolls off the tongue of people worldwide when discussing some of the great international cricket matches. Cricket at Headingley also makes a significant contribution to the economy in Leeds, bringing people in to see our wonderful city.

“So we have to work to keep international cricket at Headingley; an aim I am sure we can all get behind. This contribution, if passed, will give us a chance to ensure some more exciting international cricketing action coming from Yorkshire.”