Leeds Council accept third-party investor for Headingley redevelopment
Last Updated: 19/04/17 8:59pm
Leeds City Council has approved a proposal for a third-party investor to provide up to £35m towards funding the redevelopment of Headingley.
Super League club Leeds also play home matches at the rugby ground on the same complex, and as part of the deal they have pledged around £5m towards the total cost of the redevelopment.
The arrangement will see Leeds City Council enter into an agreement with a third-party investor to lease the new facilities from them, with Yorkshire County Cricket Club and the Rhinos then taking secured subleases from the council to cover the cost of the development in full.
Headingley is set to host four matches during the 2019 Cricket World Cup, with the improvement work set to start this summer eventually seeing the North-South stand upgraded, with the associated economic benefits estimated to be worth some £20.5m to the region.
Leader of Leeds City Council Judith Blake said: "I am pleased that the executive board has backed the deal which we have arranged with a private third-party investor to fund the redevelopment of Headingley Carnegie Stadium.
"It is vital for both the city and the region that Headingley continues to host high-class international and domestic sport.
"With the tight timescales which are involved for this work to begin, this route offers the best and most viable option moving forward.
It is vital for both city and region that Headingley continues to host high-class international and domestic sport.
Leader of Leeds City Council Judith Blake
"As part of this agreement, the cost of financing the development will be met by both the rugby and cricket clubs at no cost to the taxpayer."
Leeds Council hopes the stadium regeneration can only be positive for the county and surrounding area.
Blake added: "Headingley is a historic sporting venue recognised around the world. In hosting top-class matches it brings a large international profile and significant economic benefits to Leeds and the wider region.
"The impact of having elite sports men and women playing at Headingley is also in many ways bigger than the sports themselves.
It is a good day for the city, the county, Yorkshire County Cricket, Leeds Rhinos and Yorkshire Carnegie.
Leeds Rhinos chief executive Gary Hetherington
"The power they have as role models to inspire young people in our communities cannot be underestimated and neither is the ability through their success from a personal and team perspective to instil great pride in our city."
The clubs estimate that, once completed, the new stands will generate an extra £107.3m between 2017 and 2023.
The Rhinos plan to continue to play at Headingley during redevelopment work, with a reduced capacity of around 13,000.
Leeds chief executive Gary Hetherington said: "This is really good news and a significant step towards our plan to bring the redevelopment of Headingley Carnegie Stadium to fruition.
"Councillor Judith Blake and her team at Leeds City Council are to be congratulated for managing what has been a very difficult and complex issue extremely well.
"Both Leeds Rhinos and Yorkshire County Cricket are grateful for their support and we now hope to make a final announcement in the near future.
"There are still a number of outstanding issues to be worked through but we are confident they can be addressed.
"It is a good day for the city, the county, Yorkshire County Cricket, Leeds Rhinos and Yorkshire Carnegie."