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October 27, 2008
As the pressure on England's Test venues to develop or risk losing their status grows, Edgbaston is the latest of the established venues to announce a multi-million pound rebuilding scheme. The news comes in the light of similar ventures by Lord's, The Oval and Old Trafford, although the timing of the announcement, given the current economic climate, might raise a few eyebrows.
The £30 million plan will increase the capacity of Edgbaston to 25,000 - it is currently just over 20,000 - with the building of a new stand which includes state-of-the-art player facilities as well as the additional ubiquitous corporate hospitality areas and a banqueting suite.
"We have worked hard with our partners to produce a truly innovative design that will reaffirm Edgbaston's place as a world class venue," Phil Macdonald, operations and development director at Warwickshire, told the Birmingham Mail. "The redevelopment of the ground and wider masterplan will benefit the city by creating new jobs and giving Birmingham a stadium to be proud of. This project is a key part of our future plans for the club and our ability to remain competitive when bidding for international matches."
As much as £10 million will be borrowed to fund the project, a move that was approved by the county's membership earlier this year, before the current credit squeeze.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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