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Leeds City Council back redevelopment of Headingley stadiums

Leeds City Council has agreed to facilitate £35M deal to redevelop Headingley rugby and cricket stadiums.

Leeds City Council has agreed to broker a deal worth £35M with a private investor, to redevelop the sporting complex Headingly rugby and cricket stadium, which hosts cricket, rugby league and rugby union fixtures.

Leader of the council, Judith Blake said that the deal will help secure top-level international matches at Headingley. The council would lease the ground from the investor and sublet it to Yorkshire County Cricket Club and Leeds Rhinos. A total of £5M has been pledged by Leeds Rhinos towards the costs of the work.

A £4M grant from the work had been withdrawn from the redevelopment, which left Yorkshire County Cricket Club unable to host international matches beyond 2019.

However, Ms Blake said this was the best solution for all parties.

“When you take into account the significant economic benefits top-class rugby and cricket matches bring to the city and region, we could not stand by and do nothing to protect its international sporting status.”

As part of the lease deal, the full cost of the redevelopment will be met by the clubs.

Headingley consists of a cricket stadium and rugby ground, with a shared two-sided stand linking the facilities, with new plans including a south stand on the rugby ground and a replacement shared stand.

The deal is due to get final approval in June, with work starting in September.

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