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Headingley revamp plans saved by council-brokered deal

Headingley revamp plans saved by council-brokered deal

The planned construction of a new double-sided sports stand at Headingley in Leeds will go ahead after all, following the confirmation of a council-brokered deal that will see a financial sector firm provide £35 million of funding for the project.

It means work can start next month on a structure that will provide new seating areas on each side, one facing the cricket field and the other the rugby pitch.

Leeds City Council stepped in after the original funding plan - which involved rugby league club Leeds Rhinos selling land it owned elsewhere in the city for housing - fell through. This left the club facing the prospect of a dilapidated stand remain in in pace, while Yorkshire County Cricket Club were threatened with the loss of income from Headingley being removed from the list of England's international cricket venues.  

Commenting on the move, the leader of Leeds City Council Judith Blake said: "I am pleased that executive board has backed the deal which we have arranged with a private third-party investor to fund the redevelopment of Headingley Carnegie Stadium.

"With the tight timescales which are involved for this work to begin, this route offers the best and most viable option moving forward. As part of this agreement, the cost of financing the development will be met by both the rugby and cricket clubs at no cost to the tax-payer."

Headingley Cricket Ground has seen extensive modernisation since the turn of the millennium, with new stands right around the venue and a new dressing room and press box complex that also includes facilities used by a local university. The Football Stand will be the last side of the ground to be developed.

Work will now begin in June, which will be after the ground ?hosts a one-day international, but not before this summer's Test match between England and the West Indies, which takes place in August. However, work has to begin soon in order to ensure the development is complete by the 2019 Cricket World Cup.

Image: From YCCC


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