Communities Secretary Eric Pickles has approved the redevelopment of Lancashire County Cricket Club's stadium and the building of a major new Tesco to underwrite the project.
"This is a historic moment for Old Trafford, as it will ultimately secure the future of international cricket in Greater Manchester and the North West," said LCCC chief executive Jim Cumbes.
"We can now immediately commit to the turning of the wicket, a vital stage in our programme for the re-developed stadium to be ready in time to host The Ashes in 2013."
The decision allows Trafford Council to issue a formal planning decision notice, following the signing of a section 106 agreement. The Club has also signed a funding agreement from the Northwest Development Agency.
Cumbes added: "This decision has brought years of painstaking work to fruition for the Club and gives the go-ahead for our next £32m of investment in new pitches, stands, state of the art player and media facilities and an extension to the ground's indoor cricket school and public areas. Two new grandstands and a re-furbished Pavilion 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 England and Wales Cricket Board had confirmed that without substantial redevelopment, after this year's Test Match against Bangladesh there would have been no more Test match cricket at Old Trafford and the future of international cricket in general there would be in jeopardy.
Michael Kissman, corporate affairs manager for Tesco, said: "This is a flagship development for us in the Manchester area and we are delighted that we can now proceed with the scheme and support the redevelopment of the cricket ground. This will create hundreds of jobs in the local area and most importantly half the jobs created in the Tesco store will be reserved for the long term unemployed."
Law firm HBJ Gateley Wareing advises Lancashire County Cricket Club.