Worcestershire profit from hotel lease
Worcestershire have announced a profit after interest of £225,000 for the year ending September 30, 2012, a figure heavily swollen by proceeds from Premier Inn for a long-term lease for a hotel development at New Road designed to secure the county's financial future.
Without the exceptional payment of £350,000, Worcestershire would have shown a pre-tax loss of £125,000 after one of the wettest summers on record. New Road is particularly susceptible because of recurring flooding of the ground from the River Severn.
In a season where Worcestershire were relegated from Division One of the championship, income fell by 12 per cent to £2.62m.
Worcestershire's annual report states: "At the club's 2011 AGM it was noted that we had done a great deal to reduce risk, but clearly have not yet done enough to offset the extreme adverse weather in 2012. Met Office figures showed 2012 to be the second wettest summer since records began and resulted in the loss of over 15 days home and away cricket, making 2012 a real challenge.
"However, we now have our Premier Inn hotel and new club facilities under construction, which is anticipated to attract 35,000-40,000 hotel visitors a year. Combined with our own new conferencing, bars and executive facilities will allow the Club to extend existing revenue streams as well as develop new areas. This will create a truly 365-day-a-year business. With a long-term, viable and sustainable future ultimately allowing further investment both on and off the pitch."
Phase 2 of Worcestershire's ground improvements is now underway on the Severn side of the ground, which should see a 120-room hotel completed by November 2013. The report admitted: "While it is expected there will be some disruption during the 2013 season, we feel it is a small price to pay for the future benefits the facilities will bring."
David Hopps is the UK editor of ESPNcricinfo