County news July 27, 2009

Gloucestershire unveil ambitious redevelopment plans

Cricinfo staff

Gloucestershire have unveiled an ambitious £10 million overhaul of the County Ground at Bristol, with seating for 20,000 spectators, as they attempt to secure their status as an international ground.

Like many grounds in England which have been recently upgraded to international status, Bristol requires the erection of temporary seating in order to cater for the minimum 18,000 stipulated by the ECB. The ground currently only has 3668 permanent seats, but have managed to host 16,000 in one-day internationals with the addition of temporary stands.

The proposals include a "world class" media centre, conference facilities, a gym, swimming pool and possibly accommodation for up to 550 students which would help fund the redevelopment.

"We believe the scheme we are announcing for public consultation today is both imaginative and sensitive to our surroundings and represents the very best that can be achieved given the constrictions of the site which has been our home for over 130 years," said the club's chief executive, Tom Richardson.

"We have to comply with the England and Wales Cricket Board standards if the hugely popular one day internationals are to continue at the County Ground and if we are going to be one of the venues for the future World Cups. These matches are essential to provide the funds to develop players of international standing and have positive economic spin-off benefits for the city."