To facilitate the stadium improvement plans, funding will be provided from a combination of public and private funding, including Yorkshire County Cricket Club and Leeds Rhinos; the latter to provide the majority of the remaining investment through the proposed sale of two sites for housing development located off Weetwood Avenue, Weetwood and off Old Thorpe Lane, Bradford Road, Tingley. The net receipts from the sale of these sites will be 100% invested into the improvements at Headingley Carnegie Stadium.
The proposals will create an increased capacity Cricket Stadium that will offer the highest standards of playing, practice and training facilities, good quality seating and corporate facilities, state-of-the-art technology and media facilities. as well as attractive spaces around the stadium to improve integration with the surrounding Headingley neighbourhood.
For the Rugby Stadium, the proposals will provide a replacement North and South Stand with enhanced facilities for players, fans and visitors. The new South Stand will also replace some of the Rugby capacity lost by the development of the joint Stand between rugby and cricket, and for the first time will include an element of seating within the stand, however the standing capacity will still exceed the current level of members in the South Stand.
As part of the proposals, the Club are embarking on a consultation process which will shape and inform the final planning application.
Leeds Rhinos Chief Executive, Gary Hetherington, commented:
We have been working behind the scenes with Yorkshire County Cricket Club and Leeds City Council for many years, and now the vision of a completely redeveloped Headingley is a reality.
For Rugby fans, we will be providing significantly more comfort with much better seating, yet retaining the uniqueness and character of our home.
Our overall capacity will not increase, but that has never been our aim. We have a 90-year-old Main Stand and a South Stand that was condemned six years ago, and is in constant need of repair.
It will present a major construction challenge and inevitably cause some disruption for all teams during that period. Our stadium capacity will reduce to just over 13,000 for a period during the 2017 season but we are determined to ensure all our ticketed members are guaranteed access to all games and that’s why the 2016 Members will have priority for 2017.
Headingley has been a wonderful asset of the City for 125 years with a worldwide reputation for sporting drama and excitement and this latest development is another great news story for Leeds and Yorkshire.