Plans to secure Test cricket and bring the Ashes back to Old Trafford remain on course after Lancashire's planning application to redevelop Old Trafford was not 'called in' by the government, meaning that preparation work on the plans can now continue.
The plans had been put on hold during and immediately after the general election but Government Office North West has now informed Trafford Council approval given in March now stands.
The England & Wales Cricket Board (ECB) had previously warned that without significant redevelopment, Old Trafford would not host Test cricket again, following the second Test against Bangladesh earlier this year.
LCCC Chief Executive Jim Cumbes said: “This is an historic decision for the future of international cricket in the North West – we can now press on with redeveloping the famous Old Trafford cricket ground and securing our place as one of the world’s best cricketing arenas.
“Government Office North West has backed the council’s recognition of the important role the club plays in supporting Trafford’s economy – especially through hosting international matches like the Ashes.
“And this decision backs the partnership’s plans to deliver a much-needed new retail offering, hundreds of local jobs, and millions of pounds in regeneration to this part of the borough.
“With construction work now set to progress, I would personally like to thank everyone who has backed our proposals. We have been overwhelmed by the level of support and encouragement we have received.”
Michael Kissman, Corporate Affairs Manager for Tesco, who are supporting the redevelopment said: “This is a flagship development for us in the Manchester area we are delighted that we can now proceed with the scheme and support the redevelopment of the cricket ground.
“This will create hundreds of jobs in the local area and most importantly half the jobs created in the Tesco store will be reserved for the long term unemployed.”
The development alone will bring investment of at least £70 million into parts of Trafford which suffer from low levels of economic activity and employment.
© Cricket World 2010