County news January 13, 2012

Kent offered loan for development

ESPNcricinfo staff

Kent have been loaned £1.5 million from Canterbury City Council to help fund their ground development. The second phase of the project at the St Lawrence Ground is currently underway.

The county have already enhanced the player areas, conferencing facilities and installed floodlights at Canterbury, funded by the sale of land around the ground and through an initial loan from the council. The additional loan will help fund the building of new club offices, three flats and a Sainsbury's store attached to the ground.

Kent chief executive, Jamie Clifford praised the council for their support. "The support from the Council is helping us in our desire to create a long term, financially stable future in Canterbury," said Clifford. "This news, coupled with the recent signing of a long term deal with Sainsbury's leaves the project in very good shape. The final piece of the jigsaw is the development of a 130-bedroom hotel, and discussions on this are progressing well too."

The club have also been given permission to develop the county ground at Beckenham which has recently been established as Kent's second home. Cricket at Beckenham was under threat unless the facilities could be developed.

A new all-weather hockey pitch, an indoor multi-use training centre, a health and fitness centre, improved permanent spectator seating and a small conference facility will be built at Beckenham to secure its long term future as a venue for Kent.

"We have been determined to secure a long term base in the Greater London area for the county," said Clifford. "The cricketing county of Kent covers a very big area and we have always been keen to take cricket to all parts of the county.

Comments have now been closed for this article