Wednesday, March 16th, 2016

County Hold “preliminary Talks” With City Council Over Floodlights Topic

County Hold “preliminary Talks” With City Council Over Floodlights Topic

Outgoing Worcestershire chief executive David Leatherdale said "preliminary talks" had been held with Worcester City Council regarding possible options for erecting retractable floodlights at New Road.

Leatherdale was responding to a members question at last night's AGM regarding what the thoughts of the County were on the future of floodlights at their headquarters.

He confirmed Worcestershire will be the only one of the 18 first class counties not to have floodlights by the end of the 2016 campaign.

Leatherdale said: "We had a meeting in January with the head of facilities director at the ECB, Ben Green, and we had a full floodlight survey.

"We will by the end of 2016 be the only county without floodlights.

"Leicestershire are in the process of completing theirs, Somerset will have theirs in by the end of the season.

"I've had preliminary talks with the council about what the options are. Obviously the options are something that sits above the flood plain which is also retractable which can be done.

"Costs wise, the estimates are £1.5 million to £2 million. Therefore the balance for us is the risk and return scenario.

"Yes, I have a concern if we do end up with two divisions in T20, and we are the only team without floodlights, that could be used against us.

"It is on the club's radar. It will be a difficult conversation with the council but if it secures the future here, then it is something that will probably need to take place.

"But we've now had a survey to look at what the overall costs are that we will work with the ECB on."

Leatherdale also confirmed that plans to build a top notch Indoor School facility at the University of Worcester in Hylton Road were on the agenda.

He said: "We are looking to work with the University of Worcester in producing a fully inclusive indoor facility.

"We are the only county that doesn't have an indoor facility on site or in close vicinity.

"Malvern College is a fantastic facility but it is still a little bit too far away when it is raining and the players have got nowhere to go.

"David Green (chief executive of the University of Worcester) and myself have been pushing very much for this facility.

"Hopefully, when it happens, it will probably be the biggest and best indoor facility in the country.

"As we know, the University does things well and we are very pleased to be part of what David (Green) wants to do. "It will be fully inclusive for all disabilities – deaf, blind, mentally, physically.

"The plan if we can get it off the ground is to work with the ECB so it becomes a National Centre Of Excellence.

"At the moment, it will be on land at the back of the Arena on Hylton Road."