The first phase of a £200m development programme by Trafford Borough Council has been approved, with work on a new conference, event and banqueting facility, part of the project, commencing last month at Lancashire County Cricket Club. Due for completion in summer 2010, the events facilities, costing an estimated £12m, will be able to accommodate up to 1,000 delegates.
Associate from property consultancy Drivers Jonas’ planning team, Phillip Grant, says: “These plans represent the first crucial step in launching a wider redevelopment package for the ground and surrounding area that will deliver enormous benefit to the wider community.”
The hope is that the redevelopment will help LCCC bring International Test Cricket back to Manchester.
Lancashire’s commercial director, Geoff Durbin says: “This new facility will simply be the best of its kind – Manchester has been crying out for a 1,000+ capacity events building for many years so it is good news for us, for Trafford and the wider region.”
Designed by architects BDP, the new suite will be a self-contained facility overlooking the cricket pitch at the Old Trafford cricket stadium. The primary function will be for major conferences, events and weddings.
Throughout the development it will remain business as usual for LCCC, aided by a solid walled marquee which has been erected on the LCCC premises. This caters for 700+ guests for dinners and large conferences.
Durbin says his team is keen not to lose any business during the Phase 1 work. “It was very important for us to retain the quality of staff and the marquee proved the perfect solution. It provides us with an excellent venue offering and, because there are no pillars, it’s a blank canvass for organisers to create their own unique events.”
The marquee will be a permanent fixture at LCCC until the new Suite is fully operational.