Tuesday 28 July 2009 

Gloucestershire Unveil Plans To Expand County Ground

	 Gloucestershire Unveil Plans To Expand County Group
Gloucestershire Unveil Plans To Expand County Group
© Action Images / Steven Paston
 

Plans to transform Gloucestershire CCC's County Ground in Bristol into a 20,000-seater stadium have been unveiled.

The £10m scheme would make the ground fit to continue hosting England matches - making it the South West's only permanent international sports venue.

The plans also include a media centre, corporate entertainment facilities and flats for 550 students. The club views the proposals as essential if it is to keep its one-day international status beyond 2011.

Chief executive Tom Richardson said: ‘We have to comply with the England and Wales Cricket Board standards if the hugely popular one-day internationals are to continue at the county ground and if we are going to be one of the venues for the future World Cups.

‘These matches are essential to provide the funds to develop players of international standing and have positive economic spin-off benefits for the city.’

England have played seven one-day internationals in Bristol, the most recent a win over the West Indies in May.

Currently, the county ground has a total of 3,668 permanent seats, which rises to a maximum of 16,000 for one-day international matches with the addition of temporary seats.

For international cricket to continue at the ground Gloucestershire County Cricket Club must provide a minimum of 18,000 seats for bigger matches.

The proposed scheme would see the new media centre and hospitality suites incorporated into an expansion of the existing pavilion on the Lancashire Road side of the ground.

In addition there would be improvements to the club's existing BS7 sports and fitness club and possibly a new indoor pool.

The car-free and accommodation for 550 students, which would have pedestrian-only access, would face the Ashley Down Road entrance.

The remainder of the seating would be along the boundary of Kennington Avenue and next to the City of Bristol College.