County news January 16, 2013

Essex reveal £80m ground scheme

ESPNcricinfo staff

Essex have revealed plans for an £80 million upgrade of their Chelmsford home. The development will turn the County Ground "from a stadium into a destination" according to club treasurer Keith Brown.

The plans include a new pavilion and banqueting suite for 500 people, a new indoor school, car park, public square and a bridge over the river Chelmer, which runs behind one end of the ground.

The development will be funded by 320 apartments built on land owned by the club adjacent to the ground.

The project has been delayed by the economic downturn with plans initially drawn up in 2004 and planning permission granted in 2010.

The first phase will see 62 apartments built on the current car park. 90% of those apartments have already been sold. Work on the pavilion is not expected to begin until 2014 with the whole project completed by 2017.

"Chelmsford is becoming very attractive," Brown said. "The current stadium is very old and quite simply, needed replacing, and the only way was to have an enabling development. The whole site will link up to the city much more and offer much more for people to visit to the club ground."

The model of development reflects Gloucestershire's plans to fund their own £10 million ground revamp with a block of apartments at Bristol.

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  • Dummy4 on January 16, 2013, 22:39 GMT

    Sorry, have to disagree with Samroy insofar as their are already too many test grounds in the country. It is good to see that Essex are not being unrealistic and going for international status, better to have a really well appointed county ground.

  • Cricinfouser on January 16, 2013, 20:59 GMT

    @SamRoy - As the article states, the development is financed by the sale of land on which flats will be built. It is a modest scheme, not aimed at establishing an international stadium and is not comparable with the developments at some of the test grounds, which have involved high levels of borrowing.

  • sam on January 16, 2013, 15:04 GMT

    I heard most counties are generating minimal profit or are suffering small loses. Can Essex actually afford it or will it get submerged in debt? Any way, a quality international stadium is always welcome.

  • Dave on January 16, 2013, 14:51 GMT

    To @Sinhya - Building new facilities for Sri Lanka. I think after the financial situation SLC got themselves in, you will have to wait a long time for another ICC tournament. Last time SLC hosted an ICC event anything; they couldn't even pay the players wages. Sorry I didn't even notice that the SLPL has already taken place already.

    About time Chelmsford has had a revamp, and investing it as a all purpose facility rather than another stadium. Which means Essex CCC can generate revenue more income all year round. English cricket has finally realised that cricket alone isn't going to generate sustainable revenue, more general facilities like hospitality, housing, etc will be viable all year round.

  • sri on January 16, 2013, 13:52 GMT

    Yeah Sinhya,

    Can you explain why , with so much revenue generated,still SLC is bankrupt and SL cricketers where not paid there Salaries ;)

  • Geoff on January 16, 2013, 13:34 GMT

    - Sinhya - and the relevance of that comment is?

  • kanas on January 16, 2013, 13:08 GMT

    This is nothing compared to the revenue we generate through SLPL, we will use it to get our grounds ready so that we can host an ICC event anytime

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