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Plans were today revealed for a historic redevelopment of the newly named Headingley Carnegie Stadium encompassing both the rugby and cricket stadia that will usher in a new and exciting future for one of the most famous stadiums in world sport.
The new name of Headingley Carnegie Stadium will come in with immediate effect after a significant financial investment by Leeds Metropolitan University. The plans can now come to fruition following the successful purchase of the freehold of the cricket stadium and business by Yorkshire CCC from the owners since 1890, Leeds CF&A Co Ltd.
The plans include a new North/South Stand to replace the existing structure which was built after fire destroyed the original stand in March 1932 and a new Pavilion and Media Centre for cricket at the stadium.
The partnership with Leeds Metropolitan University continues a successful relationship between them and Headingley Stadium. The new stand at the Eastern end of the Rugby Stadium has been built in conjunction with Leeds Met and will be named the Carnegie Stand.
However, even before recent times there has been a strong link with both cricket and rugby and the Carnegie faculty of Leeds Metropolitan University including such great names as Eric Harris, Brendan Foster and Lewis Jones.
The purchase of Headingley by Yorkshire CCC brings to a highly successful conclusion a long period of negotiations between both parties, with the partnership with Leeds Metropolitan University being a key factor.
Commenting at the unveiling, Robin Smith, Chairman of The Yorkshire County Cricket Club said, "The Headingley vision, once realised, will mean that Headingley will have become one of the finest sports complexes in the Country, providing cricket, rugby and educational facilities to world class standards."
Paul Caddick, Chairman of Leeds CF&A and owner of both rugby codes at Headingley, added, "We are proud to have played our part in helping Yorkshire CCC achieve their dream of owning the cricket freehold and business and the support of Leeds Met has been very important. We can all look forward to a very bright and exciting future together."
Professor Simon Lee, Vice-Chancellor of Leeds Metropolitan University, was present at Headingley along with Chancellor Brendan Foster MBE to reveal the new name and he added, "In the best pioneering traditions of our first hundred years in Headingley, this unique partnership takes the relationship between sport, community and university life beyond all boundaries."
The deal to purchase Headingley by the Yorkshire County Cricket Club also ensures Test and international cricket at Headingley with a 15-year international staging agreement with the England and Wales Cricket Board now in place.
England captain Michael Vaughan OBE commented, "As both a Yorkshire player and captain of England, I am delighted that the future of cricket, and in particular international cricket has been secured at Headingley. Our famous old ground has witnessed some of the finest moments and battles in world cricket and now supporters of the future can become part of our heritage."
For the first time in their 142-year history, Yorkshire CCC now own their own ground. Chief Executive of The Yorkshire County Cricket Club, Colin Graves, commented, "It has been a dream of many a Yorkshireman that the most famous cricket club in the world should be in charge of its own destiny. After a long and gruelling journey, I am honoured to have been part of the team who have been able to secure the future of our great club and international cricket at Headingley."
Gary Hetherington, Leeds CF&A Co Ltd Chief Executive, concluded, "The support of Leeds Met was a factor in achieving the Leeds CF&A/Yorkshire CCC deal and this partnership will bring significant benefits to Headingley Carnegie Stadium and the Rhinos, Tykes and Yorkshire CCC teams. It is great news for everyone concerned."