Ashes cricket could return to Old Trafford in 2013 if the proposed £32m re-development of the ground goes ahead.
Lancashire County Cricket Club and its partners, Tesco and Ask Developments, have submitted plans to Trafford Council for a mixed-use scheme set to deliver new player and media facilities, hotels, an extension to the ground's indoor cricket school, a substantially refurbished pavilion and new grandstands. The development subsidy from Tesco for the 100,000 sq ft supermarket is key to making the project viable.
Work must begin by autumn 2010 with completion in late 2012 in order for Old Trafford to bid to host the Ashes Test in 2013. The ground was not included by the ECB on the rota of host grounds for this year's Ashes and has only one Test scheduled for 2010.
Jim Cumbes, LCCC's chief executive, said: "The club makes a huge contribution to the local and regional economy and is a critical part of the region's international sporting infrastructure.
"It's a time right now of fierce competition for the rights to stage International Test Matches, which has seen the ground lose the Ashes this year. The significant investment in the new facilities will ensure that Old Trafford regains its rightful place on the International Test Match circuit in time for the 2013 Ashes Test."
Phase one of the development is already under way, with a new conference and events suite, The Point, under construction and due for completion in July 2010.
The designs for phase two by architects BDP aim to retain the heritage and history of the famous ground by enhancing the existing pavilion. Two new grandstands will ensure a capacity of 15,000 capable of rising to 25,000 with temporary seating. There will also be floodlights and a screen showing action replays.
The partners have undertaken a detailed consultation exercise with local residents to ensure the proposals secure the maximum regeneration benefits for the Borough. The major landowners in the area, including Stretford High School, Trafford College, Greater Manchester Police and Kelloggs have also been part of discussions in formulating the wider framework.
A website has been set up to share information on the redevelopment and what it means for the region. The site provides details on the proposals, images of how the redevelopment would look as well as ways to pledge support for the scheme; the site will go live as of 11am Friday 13 November.
Drivers Jonas Manchester-based team have acted as planning and development advisors to Lancashire County Cricket Club since the inception of the overall project and masterplan.