Posted: Wed, 15 Mar 2023 15:00
Leicestershire County Cricket Club has entered into consultation with developers, stakeholders and the community after announcing intentions for a £60m redevelopment of Uptonsteel County Ground.
The club has been working extensively with architects, research consultants and financial bodies to produce design specifications that have the scope to transform the existing stadium and create new facilities for the surrounding community.
Chief Executive Sean Jarvis has today revealed that among the options being explored are the development of residential homes, healthcare and retail options. The launch of an Academy of Cricket campus, that could host a wide range of academic activities including the world's first MBA in cricket management, also forms part of the long-term vision for the project.
The club is currently in talks with a number of interested stakeholders who are eager to get the plans up and running and a local residents' group has been formed. The group has attended an initial forum to ensure those who live nearby can be fully involved in the process.
Mr Jarvis said: "This is something we have been working on for some considerable time alongside research consultants who have presented us with a number of viable options. It is now a case of putting more 'meat on the bones' on the proposals and we will therefore be holding talks with a wide range of interested stakeholders. Our intention is to consult with the community along every step of this journey.
"We need to generate new revenue streams if we wish for the club to develop, and the progression of these plans will not only guarantee a bright future for the club, but also for the local community who will benefit hugely from this investment."
Of the proposed academic activities, he added: "As a club, we have always enjoyed success in developing cricketing talent of the future on the pitch. Our ambition is that we now want to replicate this off the pitch by creating opportunities for individuals searching for a career in the wider cricket environment. We have already held explorative talks with several higher education providers in the region and their feedback has been very encouraging."
Mark Lewis, Dean of the School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences at Loughborough University, who are working in partnership with LCCC, said: "I welcome this announcement. Leicestershire County Cricket Club has an important place in the regional and national sporting landscape. The potential of an academic offering in partnership with higher education providers such as Loughborough University will be an attractive and exciting proposition."
Sustainable development has been considered as part of the research undertaken along with potential ways of off-setting carbon emissions.
News of the investment project has been warmly welcomed by Leicester City Mayor Sir Peter Soulsby, who said: "Leicester is rightly proud of its sporting institutions. Our city has already benefited from the Tigers' redevelopment of their Welford Road site, and we are looking forward to LCFC taking forward their ambitious plans very soon.
"I welcome the cricket club's announcement and their plans to bring wider benefits to the local community, including new academic programmes with the potential to put Leicestershire on the international stage."
It has also received the backing of supporters with John Stew, Chairman & Secretary of Friends of Grace Road, a volunteer-run supporters club, saying: "This is exciting news, and we look forward to being involved in the process to make our club financially sustainable. This could create a real legacy for Leicestershire County Cricket Club and hopefully inspire greater success on the field."
(Source & Image: Leicestershire County Cricket Club)
More information: https://www.leicestershireccc.co.uk/news/leicestershire-county-cricket-club-announce-major-redevelopment-plans