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First steps towards new cricket facility in Northampton agreed by Cabinet

Parks, sports and leisure

14 February 2024

A cricket bat, ball, and gloves

West Northamptonshire Council (WNC) has agreed to lease land to Northamptonshire County Cricket Club (NCCC) as it seeks to deliver a brand-new cricket facility in Northampton.

At yesterday’s cabinet meeting (Tuesday, 13 February), councillors approved plans for a 125-year lease for land at New Manor Farm, Moulton to NCCC, which will enable the club to take a step forward in consulting with residents around the further progress of proposals to deliver a second site. Those proposals will be tested through the planning process and local licensing regimes, which will be subject to the usual consultation processes.

Both the cricket club and the council are committed to engaging with all stakeholders including parish councils, community groups and local residents in the area to ensure that the detailed plans are fully explored and any mitigation required is understood prior to any planning application being submitted.

This is an exciting milestone in a project that we’ve been working on for some time.

There’s so much growth happening for cricket in the county, particularly in the women’s game and disability cricket, and over the last few years this has significantly increased pressure on our existing facilities.

We cannot play any more games at The County Ground than we do currently, so it makes sense for us to investigate the idea of an additional venue, which the site at Moulton offers
Ray Payne, NCCC Chief Executive

The plans are for a permanent capacity of 2,000 and while the illustrative plans from NCCC show temporary stands which would substantially increase the capacity, this could only happen with the permission of the local authority and is not part of the lease agreement considered by WNC’s Cabinet yesterday.

The new venue would become a home for the development of women’s and girls’ cricket of all formats, including softball festivals, junior leagues and provide a consistent venue for pathway cricket. There are no plans to move the professional men’s setup or club offices away from The County Ground, a venue Northamptonshire County Cricket Club has been proud to call home since 1886.

We’re confident that a new facility will add enormous value to women and girls’ cricket in Northamptonshire and have a transformational impact on the volume and quality of cricket that’s played in the county.Ray Payne, NCCC Chief Executive

Many of the club’s goals align with the objectives of the council to provide accessible sport and wellbeing opportunities within the local community.

The proposals will enable NCCC to grow participation in cricket from grass roots programmes through to academy level, making the sport accessible to people from all backgrounds.

We are pleased to have agreed to lease this land to NCCC so that they can begin the process of making this opportunity a reality.

This is an exciting step forward in their plans to deliver a first-class facility in West Northamptonshire and supports the council’s commitment to providing accessible health and wellbeing facilities in local communities.

These proposals will ensure cricket, as the primary use, continues to be an important element in the Northamptonshire calendar, providing high-quality training opportunities as well as improved walking routes throughout the local area and will follow thorough consultation and discussion with residents.
Cllr Adam Brown, Deputy Leader of West Northamptonshire Council and Cabinet Member for Housing, Culture and Leisure
We’re proud that prudent governance and commercial growth of the club have helped us to achieve an enviable level of financial security.

Now we need to ensure that we invest in our facilities so we can increase opportunities for everyone to play and expand the club’s reach into communities across Northamptonshire and surrounding counties.
Gavin Warren, NCCC Chairman
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