Leeds City Council says an agreement has been reached to get the funds required to redevelop Headingley Carnegie stadium.
“This funding which will be provided from a private financial services company, will be at no cost to the council taxpayer,” says a press release published on the council’s website today.
The arrangement will first have to be given the go-ahead by the council’s executive board when it next meets on 19th April.
All remaining funds?
The press release quoted Yorkshire County Cricket Club (YCCC) chief executive Mark Arthur as saying:
“There is still a way to go, however, it is a significant step in securing the future of international cricket at Headingley.
“Yorkshire County Cricket Club will continue to work hard to ensure that all remaining funds are in place to ensure that the redevelopment is completed in time for the Cricket World Cup in 2019.”
Chief exec Gary Hetherington of Leeds Rhinos (who share Carnegie with the YCCC) said: “There is still much to do but recent developments are very encouraging and could provide the funding mechanism to complete the redevelopment work.”
The press release gave few details of the funding agreement. More is promised ahead of the council bosses meeting in April (but don’t hold your breath as most of it will be kept secret for reasons of confidentiality).
YCCC needs the stadium redeveloped if it is to have the chance of retaining international cricket beyond 2019. The estimated cost of the redevelopment is £39m. YCCC is currently over £24m in debt, but recorded a small profit last year.
It’s not clear how much of the £39m needed is covered by the announced deal. Leeds Rhinos are reported to be putting in £22.5m as their share of the redevelopment costs. Which leaves some £17m for the cricket club to find.
All will be revealed. Or not.