Cricket club plans major expansion
ESSEX County Cricket Club has revealed ambitious expansion plans for its ground in Chelmsford. The multi-million pound redevelopment of the County Ground in New Writtle Street would increase capacity by about 25% to 8,000 and replace out-dated sections of the ground with state-of-the-art facilities.
ESSEX County Cricket Club has revealed ambitious expansion plans for its ground in Chelmsford.
The multi-million pound redevelopment of the County Ground in New Writtle Street would increase capacity by about 25% to 8,000 and replace out-dated sections of the ground with state-of-the-art facilities.
There would also be a new six-net cricket school, cutting-edge media services and improved banqueting and conferencing.
The new-look stadium would also offer 300 parking spaces for fans and retail facilities at the ground.
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The club is now looking for companies prepared to take on the project which it hopes will be ready for the start of the 2009 County Championship season.
The redevelopment aims to deliver international standard facilities without any reduction of the playing surface and will be funded through residential development of 180 homes on club-owned land currently used for car parking and the cricket school.
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David East, chief executive, said it was important for the club to create income sources throughout the year, not just on game days.
He said: “The facilities we have here are 40 years old and are starting to show their age and they need to be upgraded so they are new and better.
“There are 50 home days of cricket a year and approximately 315 when there is not and we need to maximise the use of the facilities the best we can.”
He said the club had been looking at development for several years with momentum gaining in the past 18 months.
“It is gradually coming to fruition and we are looking to secure a development provider and that process is under way.
“We had the sort of facilities which were state-of-the-art around the late 1960s and early 70s but we need to look forward to the next 50 or 100 years.”
It is anticipated four to five developers will be shortlisted to develop the masterplan and the winning bid should be announced at the beginning of July.