County news September 20, 2014

Derbyshire get go ahead for development

ESPNcricinfo staff

Derbyshire have received planning permission for the development of their ground in Derby as the club's transformation moves off the field.

Graham Welch was appointed the county's new elite cricket performance director at the start of the season and by the time the 2015 campaign starts, Derbyshire hope to have new off-field facilities in place.

The current Gateway Centre is set to be renovated into a state-of-the-art cricket centre of excellence and pavilion. The Lund Pavilion will also be developed to provide better facilities for members and corporate customers.

The old Racecourse ground in Derby does not have the best reputation among county cricketers. Original plans were set for completion by 2014 as the club aims to be a host venue for matches at the 2019 World Cup, due to be staged in England.

A £1 million grant has been secured following the approval of the club's business plan by the ECB. Further grants could become available in the future which would enable the club to explore further development.

"After a robust planning process, we're delighted that work on the first phase of our redevelopment can now begin," Derbyshire chief executive, Simon Storey said. "To fulfil our ambition for success on the field, we need first-class facilities for players, members, spectators and our business customers.

"It's all about improving the customer experience so they will choose to come back to Derbyshire time and time again. Improved customer facilities, within the Lund Pavilion, will be there for our members to enjoy and also to support growth in the Conference & Events arm of our business.

"This business growth, supported by improved facilities, will allow us to increase our revenue and therefore invest more in achieving success on the field."

After a very slow start to the year on the field, Derbyshire have enjoyed an excellent second half, reaching the quarter-final of the Royal London Cup and could finish as high as fourth in Division Two of the County Championship.

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