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Leeds City Council ponders £4m Headingley grant

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Leeds City Council is mulling over a request to grant £4m (US$5.3m, €4.8m) of funding for the proposed development of Headingley Stadium.

Yorkshire County Cricket Club has asked for the funding as it aims to complete the £28.5m (US$37.5m, €34m) redevelopment of the ground in time for the 2019 Cricket World Cup, in which it is hoping to host four matches.

The proposed redevelopment would see the existing North-South Stand demolished and replaced with a three-tier stand, capable of holding 5,060 spectators – an increase of 1,400 on the current set-up. Hospitality facilities will also be upgraded as part of the project.

The request for the funds will be debated by the council’s executive board at the city’s Civic Hall in 27 July.

According to the council, the project is expected to “realise economic benefits of £5.75m (US$7.6m, €6.9m) for Leeds” and “£5.3m (US$7m €6.3m) of additional visitor spend in Yorkshire per year”. The benefits of hosting the 2019 World Cup are estimated to be worth £20.5m (US$26.9m, €24.5m), with 30 full-time jobs and eight new apprenticeships expected to be established as a result.

“Cricket at Headingley makes a significant contribution to the economy in Leeds, bringing people in to see our wonderful city,” said Leeds City Council executive member for regeneration, transport and planning, Richard Lewis.

“So we have to work to keep international cricket at Headingley; an aim I am sure we will all get behind. This contribution, if passed, will give us a chance to ensure some more exciting international cricketing action coming from Yorkshire.”

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Leeds City Council is mulling over a request to grant £4m (US$5.3m, €4.8m) of funding for the proposed development of Headingley Stadium.
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An artist's impression of the rugby stadium's redeveloped North–Stand
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