The next stage of Lancashire County Cricket Club’s venue redevelopment has been approved by the council, and construction is now scheduled to start early next year.
LCCC lodged scaled-back plans in March to redevelop the Red Rose grandstand side of the Emirates Old Trafford cricket venue, aiming to build a six-storey building with capacity for just under 1,025 seats to replace the Red Rose suite.
This is around 800 more than currently although less than a previous iteration of the scheme approved pre-Covid, which included a two-tiered stand with 5,000 seats. LCCC is understand to have revised its scheme due to the financial impact of the global health crisis.
Although the ground has reopened in line with Government guidance, it is understood to be running at about 25% of pre-pandemic levels.
Under the plans approved by Trafford Council last night, a 100-bedroom hotel is to occupy the upper four floors of the six-storey stadium building, acting as an extension to the successful 150-bedroom Hilton Garden Inn within the complex and provide more opportunities to host large-scale events.
A podium was originally going to be built to connect the Hilton with the new building, but the new scheme has removed that element.
Meanwhile, the lower two floors are to include facilities such as retail, a museum and ticket sale space, as well as a members lounge on the first floor.
The plans cover the side of the ground adjacent to Brian Statham Way, where many spectators emerge from the nearby Metrolink stop. As part of the scheme, Brian Statham Way is to be realigned with associated public realm and landscaping mapped out as part of Trafford Council’s Civic Quarter masterplan.
Council plans for the area include opportunities for new homes and offices and improved pedestrian and cycle routes. They also encompass the possible development of a public piazza and ‘processional route’ linking players at Lancashire Cricket Club with Manchester United’s Old Trafford stadium.
The Red Rose grandstand project is the latest chunk of LCCC’s £60m redevelopment that has been taking place over the past decade.
LCCC’s project team includes regular partner BDP as architect, Paul Butler Associates as planner, Cundall, Axis Transportation Planning, Tyrer Ecological, Marston & Grundy, Applied Geology and Exterior Architecture.
Daniel Gidney, chief executive of LCCC, said the approval was “fantastic news” for the club and everyone associated with it. “The new stand and hotel extension complete the redevelopment of Emirates Old Trafford and will further enhance our reputation as a world-class venue for business, sport and leisure.”
He added: “The decade-long redevelopment of the ground was undertaken so that the club could continue to host major competitions, matches and events, as it has done throughout its storied history. This [latest] redevelopment will play a key role in the club’s long-term financial strategy.
“The revised plans provide greater revenue generation opportunities in the short and long term and, crucially, enable us to upgrade Emirates Old Trafford’s facilities, increase our overall capacity and improve the event-day experience for all venue visitors.”
Cllr Andrew Western, leader of Trafford Council, said the scheme “will make Emirates Old Trafford a truly spectacular sporting arena and one of the biggest in the country.
“It will also provide huge benefits to the local area in terms of employment and improved local amenities, and will keep Trafford firmly on the sporting world map,” he said.
LCCC hopes to start development work in early 2022 and completion is scheduled in time for the 2023 cricket season, which includes an eagerly anticipated Ashes Test Match at Emirates Old Trafford.
The council had recommended the plans for approval ahead of last night’s meeting. However, the planning committee refused Southway Housing Trust’s 29-home affordable housing apartment scheme in Sale, which would have replaced the Sale Masonic Hall on Tatton Road.