Headingley Carnegie Stadium – home to Leeds Rhinos and Yorkshire County Cricket Club – is to get much-needed redevelopment, at no cost to the council taxpayer.
More details on the agreement with a private financial services organization, which has been brokered by Leeds City Council, are now available.
The proposals will be submitted to Leeds City Council’s executive board on 19 April.
In essence a third-party investor will provide up to £35m to fund the scheme in full. This will secure top-level international sport at Headingley.
Leeds Rhinos has also pledged £5m toward the cost.
The proposal involves Leeds City council entering into agreement with a third-party investor to lease the new facilities from the investor.
Yorkshire CCC and Leeds Rhinos would then individually or through a new joint company owned by both the clubs, take sub-leases from the council to cover the cost of the development in full.
In order to protect and reduce the risk to the council, both clubs will have to provide adequate security on both assets and income should there be any default in their rent repayments or any further obligations.
In 2019, world famous Headingley Cricket Ground will be hosting matches from the 2019 World Cup. The economic benefits linked to this are estimated at £20.5m. The redevelopment will secure top-class international sport at Headingley.
It’s forecast that the new stands which are central to this redevelopment will generate additional expenditure of £107.3 million over the period between 2017 and 2023.
It’s estimated that the economic benefits will be around £5.75m of additional visitor spend in Leeds and circa £5.3m additional visitor spend in Yorkshire per annum from 2020 onwards, as well as 8 new apprenticeships, 30 new full-time equivalent jobs in services such as administration, events, housekeeping, food service and bar staff as well as stewarding, and the award of 80% of Small and Medium Enterprise contracts to local suppliers as well as the £20.5m economic benefits from the 2019 World Cup.
More detail can be found on the Executive Board’s agenda, item 19 here http://bit.ly/2ogNsbs
Councillor Judith Blake, Labour leader of Leeds City Council, emphasized how committed the Council has been to finding
“the best and most viable solution to ensure Headingley can continue to host high-class international and domestic sport.”
In these times of severe constraints on local government spending the Council itself could not foot the bill. So, as Cllr Blake, said
“I’m delighted we’ve managed to broker a deal with a private investor that, subject to executive board approval, will fund the redevelopment of the stadium. Crucially the cost of financing the completed development will be met by the rugby and cricket clubs themselves at no cost to the council taxpayer.”
That said, the Council is delighted that a solution to Headingley’s needs seems to have been found.
Judith Blake again:
“Headingley is a historic venue which is celebrated and recognised throughout the world. 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.”
“While there are still some hurdles to conclude the proposal this summer, we believe the deal we have put in place, subject to executive board approval, is the best possible option for Headingley, the rugby and cricket clubs and the taxpayer.”