Move away from Old Trafford still an option July 4, 2005

Lancashire consider Wigan move

Cricinfo staff

The debate over the future location of Lancashire is rumbling on with the news that another new site has been proposed in Wigan. The local council wants Lancashire to move to a purpose-built £30 million stadium on a 17-acre site.

A move away from Lancashire's current home at Old Trafford has been muted for the last two years, with relocation to East Manchester, next to Manchester City football club, the first option suggested. However a significant section of members, who will have to vote on any final decision, have opposed the move and would prefer Old Trafford to be renovated.

"Everybody ruled by their heart will want to stay at Old Trafford, but you have to think of every alternative," Jack Simmons, the Lancashire chairman, told BBC Radio Manchester. "The members will decide where this club goes to and this will probably only get discussed at a committee meeting on Tuesday."

One concern of the proposed site in Wigan would be the distance from central Manchester, which is well connected with transport links. Wigan is a 30 minute train journey from Manchester and would not provide the same services as the current location.

"We'll have to look at every alternative and see what's going to be the best thing for us. They've put another alternative there that's maybe similar to the one in east Manchester. If everybody thinks it's too far from Manchester we probably wouldn't go any further with it. The only problem with Old Trafford is that we need to spend a lot of money to get it up to standard if we want to continue as a Test match ground.

"So the choice is to redevelop Old Trafford, move to east Manchester or Wigan and we'll have to see which works out to be the best way we can go. Old Trafford's an old ground and there are a lot of things that would need to come down. Redevelopments and new buildings have to be taken into consideration in three-quarters of the ground."

Lancashire have promised to make a decision by the end of the summer.

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