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Worcestershire exploring move away from New Road to "ensure long-term future"

The board are hopeful of a solution for the "very real issues" regarding the county's sustainability after winter floods affect another summer

New Road has flooded seven times across the 2023-24 winter, New Road, Worcester

New Road has flooded seven times across the 2023-24 winter  •  PA Images/Getty

Worcestershire County Cricket Club has confirmed they will explore a permanent move away from New Road in the coming months in a bid to preserve the long-term future of the county.
New Road, which has been Worcestershire's home ground since 1899, is built on a floodplain which relieves the River Severn, causing floods which have consistently affected their season. The ground flooded seven times over the 2023-24 winter, resulting in the club moving their first two County Championship matches to Kidderminster. In 2014, following eight floods in 18 months, Worcestershire spent between £7 million and £8 million making New Road more flood-resistant.
The expectation remains that cricket will return to New Road from May 24. However, further bad weather could affect Worcestershire's T20 Blast campaign, with their first home fixture due to take place on May 31 against Lancashire Lightning. As a non-Test venue, the Blast provides vital matchday revenue for the club. They will also host a women's ODI between England Women and New Zealand on June 30.
Speaking earlier this month, chief executive Ashley Giles stated any further delay in hosting cricket at New Road would be "devastating" and floated the idea of moving the club to a new home.
"I don't think we can carry on like this," Giles told BBC Hereford and Worcester. "It's costing us a lot of money. We're going to lose virtually two months of a six-month season. The ground is here to stage cricket, to be a venue for entertainment and hospitality. But conditions are seemingly getting worse."
A statement released by Worcestershire on Monday confirmed the board are now actively exploring their options:
"Given the recent unprecedented record volume of flooding at New Road, and the increasing regularity of flooding, the Board of Worcestershire County Cricket Club understands the very real issues regarding the sustainability of the Club.
"As a Board, we will make it our key priority to explore every option, including a move from New Road, over the next few months so we can provide the membership and key stakeholders with a plan.
"This is to ensure the long-term future of Worcestershire County Cricket Club."