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Headingley begins £40m transformation as mystery backer revealed

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Through this agreement, Legal & General are ensuring Headingley will be a first-class venue and that the economic benefits brought to the region through the hosting of top-class matches will continue
– Cllr Judith Blake, leader, Leeds City Council

Work is underway to transform Headingley into a stadium for the future, after Legal & General was revealed as the investor behind the £40m (US$52.6m, €44.48m) project.

The insurance and investment management group announced it has partnered with Leeds City Council to guarantee the long-term future of the iconic stadium, investing £35m (US$46m, €38.92m) in addition to £4m (US$5.26m, €4.45m) already pledged by the local authority.

Details of the investor have been kept secret since the deal was sealed in March.

Comprising the redeveloped stand, which sits on the south side of Headingley Cricket Stadium, and the adjacent north stand of Headingley Rugby Stadium, the property will be let to Leeds City Council on a 42-year lease, and under-let to the cricket and rugby clubs jointly.

The ground is home to The Yorkshire County Cricket Club, Yorkshire Carnegie Rugby Union Football Club and Leeds Rhinos Rugby League Club.

It has hosted international sports for more than 110 years, and continues to host tests, one day internationals and international T20 matches, as well as rugby league internationals and other major rugby league events.

Construction is expected to generate local jobs and economic growth in the region. Once completed, the increased capacity will create additional expenditure of more than £107m (US$140.7m, €118.95m) by 2023.

“There’s significant economic benefit that maintaining test status for Headingley will bring to the city and the wider region, which makes this redevelopment another important investment in the city, improving wellbeing and contributing to the growth of the local economy,” said Pete Gladwell, head of public sector partnerships at LGIM Real Assets.

Leader of Leeds City Council, Cllr Judith Blake added: “Through this agreement, Legal & General are ensuring that not only will Headingley be a modern and first-class venue but also that the significant economic benefits that are brought to Leeds and the wider region through the hosting of top-class matches will continue."

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Work is underway to transform Headingley into a stadium for the future, after Legal & General was revealed as the investor behind the £40m (US$52.6m, €44.48m) project.
An artist's impression of the rugby stadium's redeveloped North Stand

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