Old Trafford set for major redevelopment
England's Northwest Regional Development Agency (NWDA) has invested US$3.65 million to upgrade Lancashire County Cricket Club's Old Trafford ground. The county plans for the stadium, a five-minute walk from Manchester United's Old Tarfford soccer stadium, to regain its place on the International Test Match circuit in time for the England versus Australia Ashes series in 2013.
Test matches have been played at Old Trafford since 1884. It holds 22,000 fans for test matches, and is a popular traditional venue. An estimated 30,000 fans queued outside in an attempt to get tickets to England's clash with Australia in 2005.
The US$3.65 million will be spent on 2,500 permanent new seats, new floodlights, a new scoreboard and replay screen and the construction of a new hospitality and events section. A new drainage system will also be installed.
"The Agency's investment will help to unlock an important first stage of the cricket ground's development which would not be able to progress without public sector intervention. This would result in the region facing the potential permanent loss of international cricket, and greatly reduce the impact the Club makes to the regional economy," said Steven Broomhead, chief executive of the NWDA. "As well as helping to strengthen the region’s tourism offer by helping to create an internationally-significant visitor destination, importantly this investment will help to safeguard jobs and lever in substantial private sector investment."
- Overall value: US$3.65 million
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