Rt Hon Andy Burnham MP took part in the official Turf Cutting Ceremony at Lancashire County Cricket Club (LCCC) to mark the start of building work on the new multi-million pound conference and event suite.
Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, Andy Burnham MP was joined by Michael Cairns OBE (Chairman of LCCC) as he cut the first sod on the site for the new £12 million development at the Old Trafford cricket ground. Also in attendance at the event was Rt Hon Beverley Hughes MP, Minister for the Northwest.
The ceremony was preceded by a presentation to the invited guests in the Trafford suite by Chief Executive of LCCC, Jim Cumbes, where he announced the official name of the new suite, revealing it to be The Point.
Jim Cumbes said:
“It’s important for a venue of this stature to have its own identity, and getting the name right was essential. Many names were suggested, some conference led and some cricketing terminology and many hours were spent deliberating over a fitting name that ticks all the boxes.”
‘The Point’ was chosen as it encompassed a number of relevant factors: a subtle cricket term; the design of the venue; and a destination.
“We needed to avoid a name that alienated any one sector; this is going to be a modern, versatile venue which will be capable of hosting high profile conferences one day, and dinner dances and weddings the next.”
The Point at LCCC is part of the first phase in an overall £200 million redevelopment plan for the area, which ultimately aims to secure the future of international cricket for the region.
Andy Burnham MP said:
“The plans look fantastic. It is vital for cricket in the North West to have an international-class venue….to me it’s non-negotiable.”
Once complete, The Point will be one of the largest conference and event facilities in the UK and is expected to have a positive economic impact on the region.
The Point will be able to cater for 1000 guests for a sit-down dinner, and conferences for up to 1000 delegates. The impressive glass-fronted, self-contained building will overlook the world famous Old Trafford cricket pitch, and inside will be a mezzanine bar area overlooking the main suite.
The main suite will be pillar-free, and sub-divisible into three spaces to accommodate smaller events, and LCCC are particularly proud to boast a catering team capable of delivering the highest standards for an event of any size.
The Point has been designed with an eco-friendly outlook, and will include many green features and initiatives such as rainwater harvesting, low voltage lighting, ground source heat pumps and solar panels. LCCC has received funding from the NWDA for the green elements of the new suite, and for the upgrade of the cricketing facilities.