County news March 1, 2012

New Road plans given go-ahead

Worcestershire have been granted permission to build a hotel at New Road after a vote by the city council's planning committee. The £10 million plans include the building of new club offices and spectator facilities.

Work is hoped to begin a week after the season ends in September, with the aim of being ready in time for the start of the 2013 season.

Hotel chain Premier Inn will build a four-storey, 120-bedroom hotel at the north-east corner of the ground, adjacent to Worcester Bridge. The hotel's design will be similar to that of the Graeme Hick Pavilion, which was opened in 2009.

Premier Inn will fund the £7.5 million hotel with the club aiming to find around £2.5 million in grants and a local enterprise partnership (LEP) loan to avoid applying for a bank loan. The club hope to have their LEP application rubber-stamped soon to provide them with interest-free, long term finance.

The development will see the erection of a new club reception area, offices, club shop and meeting rooms, together with hospitality facilities, including 159 executive balcony seats. A new bar and over 500 new seats will also be built for spectators.

"The new development will add further facilities, to complement the Graeme Hick Pavilion, making us a 365-day destination and helping to attract investment into the Worcester," Worcestershire chief executive David Leatherdale said. "I am delighted that local councillors support our vision, and we will now be working hard to deliver a scheme which will benefit the City and County as a whole"

Edited by Alan Gardner

Alex Winter is an editorial assistant at ESPNcricinfo