The new £12 million conference and events venue, The Point, was officially opened on Sunday with a ribbon cutting ceremony on the famous Old Trafford pitch. Holding a pair of scissors, in place of his customary cricket bat, was Lancashire County Cricket Club’s very own Andrew ‘Freddie’ Flintoff who was joined by Robert Hough, Chairman of the Northwest Regional Development Agency.
A red ribbon, 75 metres in length, was draped from the balcony of The Point onto the pitch during the lunch interval of the England v Australia ODI. Freddie was greeted with rapturous applause by the full house as he stepped forward with Richard Hough to cut through the ribbon.
Robert Hough, Chairman of the Northwest Regional Development Agency (NWDA), said: "I feel privileged to be joining Freddie at a venue which is an important asset for the Northwest. Lancashire County Cricket Club is part of the region's sporting heritage and makes a significant social and economic impact.
Robert adds: "I am delighted that the NWDA has been able to support this development, which is vital in securing the future of international cricket in the region. As well as helping to create an internationally-significant visitor destination, the development will also help to lever in substantial private sector investment.”
Lancashire’s Chief Executive Jim Cumbes said: “Over the past 14 months we have witnessed major building work as stands were demolished to make way for the construction of this magnificent 1000 seat hospitality and banqueting venue. Watching the cutting of the ribbon in front of a packed Old Trafford, and with 1000 guests enjoying the facilities in The Point, is a very emotional and proud day for all those who have been involved with the project.”
The club have recently received approval for the phase 2 development of the ground. Including the building of The Point the total cost will be close to £50m.