Lancashire news June 23, 2010

Old Trafford redevelopment clear to go ahead

Cricinfo staff

Lancashire have received the green light from the government for its redevelopment plan to secure international cricket at Old Trafford.

The plan, which is in conjunction with a Tesco development near the ground, is necessary after the ECB declared that Old Trafford would not retain its international status unless the facilities were improved.

Old Trafford hosted the England Test against Bangladesh earlier this month and unveiled its new conference centre, The Point, to mixed reviews in that game.

The real goal for the county is to host a 2013 Ashes fixture and to do that building work would have to begin shortly after the 2010 season ends. The decision by the government office for the North West not to refer the £32m scheme to a full inquiry has made that possible.

"Government Office North West has backed the council's recognition of the important role the club plays in supporting Trafford's economy - especially through hosting international matches like the Ashes," said Lancashire chief executive Jim Cumbes.

"And this decision backs the partnership's plans to deliver a much-needed new retail offering, hundreds of local jobs, and millions of pounds in regeneration to this part of the borough. With construction work now set to progress, I would personally like to thank everyone who has backed our proposals. We have been overwhelmed by the level of support and encouragement we have received."