PLANS to revitalise Bradford Park Avenue cricket ground have moved a step closer.
As revealed in The Yorkshire Post last December, Yorkshire are hoping to restore the ground to its former glory in partnership with the England and Wales Cricket Board and Bradford Council.
The club want to play there in 2019 to ease pressure on Headingley in a busy summer of international cricket.
Now the £5.5m project has been divided into five stages with costings applied.
The first stage would see eight practice wickets and nets installed on the site of the former Bradford Park Avenue football pitch next to the ground.
This phase, costing £570,000, would also involve the building of an “inclusive changing pavilion”, complete with car parking, security fencing and CCTV.
The second phase, costing £140,000, involves upgrading the surface to first-class level, as well as renovating the existing scoreboard as well as the groundsman’s store.
Stage three – the most expensive at £2.5m – would see a new community pavilion with changing rooms fitted to first-class standards, a 250-capacity restaurant and more than 1,000 seats for spectators.
Phase four is a £940,000 revamp of the existing East Stand, with repairs to existing terraces and boundary walls, and the building of more than 4,000 new seats.
The final stage would see ECB-standard floodlights costing £1.35m, with work set to be finished by 2019.
Although the ground could be used for Yorkshire first team games, along with elite women’s and disability cricket, the revamp is primarily designed for the local community.
Council figures show there is a shortage of 18 grounds across the district, with that figure set to rise to 25 venues by 2021, and this is a way of boosting participation.
Mark Arthur, the Yorkshire chief executive, said: “It’s a unique concept and would give Bradford national and international recognition for using cricket as a positive vehicle for social inclusion.
“The plan is for the venue to host some elite games of women’s and disabled cricket, and there may be the chance of the odd Yorkshire game, particularly in 2019. It would be extremely useful for us to have that facility in Bradford.”
Yorkshire last played at Park Avenue in 1996.