First look at Leeds £50m Headingley stadium upgrade

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Detailed proposals for a major £50m redevelopment of Headingley stadium will be unveiled to an influential Leeds planning committee for the first time tomorrow.

As previously reported in the Yorkshire Evening Post, the 110-year old stadium desperately needs upgrading in order for the city to retain its international cricket ground status. National cricket bosses are looking to reduce the number of English test venues from the current nine to six.

As well as hosting top-flight test cricket and being the base for Yorkshire County Cricket Club, the stadium is home to both the Leeds Rhinos rugby league and Yorkshire Carnegie rugby union teams. The proposals include bulldozing the existing shared rugby/cricket stand and southern terrace.

Councillors on Leeds council’s City Plans Panel will tomorrow (Thursday) be shown pre-application details of the scheme and be asked to offer their feedback ahead of a full application.

A report to the panel says: “Both the rugby and the cricket clubs have a desire and need to improve their grounds. To secure international cricket for the city, Leeds City Region and Yorkshire beyond 2019, improvements to the facilities...need to be made.”

The report adds that Headingley Stadium is “one of the premier sporting complexes in Leeds and Yorkshire”.

“The stadium is an international sporting arena that has been a part of Headingley for over 110 years,” the report says. “It provides a significant profile for the city.”

There are two separate adjoining grounds on the Headingley stadium site, the rugby ground to the south and the cricket ground to the north. The grounds are held and managed separately under the ownership of the rugby and cricket clubs.

Research shows that visiting spectators to one recent international test match at Headingley brought almost £5m of additional spend to the Leeds economy.

See a full report of the debate here tomorrow as it happens.

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