New name and facelift for Yorkshire's famous home

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The Independent Online

Headingley is to get a substantial makeover in the wake of Test cricket being secured for the next 15 years at the Leeds ground.

The first change was revealed yesterday with one of Britain's most famous sporting venues renamed the Headingley Carnegie Stadium for an initial 10-year period following what has been termed "significant investment" from Leeds Metropolitan University.

Under a redevelopment plan, the university's Carnegie faculty will be sited at the ground, which also houses Leeds Tykes rugby union club and Leeds Rhinos rugby league team.

Only weeks ago, the future of Headingley as a home to the English cricket team was under threat because part of the 15-year staging agreement with the England and Wales Cricket Board included the proviso that Yorkshire owned their own ground by 31 December 2005. That deadline was met thanks to a £9m loan from Leeds City Council and a scheme to raise an additional £3m, both to be paid back over 15 years, allowing Yorkshire to own their own ground for the first time.

The England captain, Michael Vaughan, present at Headingley for yesterday's unveiling of the new plans, said: "As a Yorkshire player and England captain it was a bit of a blow to return from Pakistan with a knee injury to find out that Headingley would not necessarily retain international status.

"So to hear on New Year's Eve that it had been secured for 15 years was just the tonic to end 2005 after such a great year for cricket," he added.

Headingley is set for a revamp at two ends of the cricket ground, the biggest project being a joint stand with the adjacent rugby stadium. The capacity for cricket will be boosted by 3,000 when it is built, while the new Carnegie Stand will increase the rugby ground's capacity by 4,500. In the latter stages of the development plan, a new cricket pavilion is to go up at the Kirkstall Lane end.

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