Northamptonshire County Cricket Club is set to receive a council loan of up to £1 million to fund a new permanent stand at Wantage Road.
The club plans to dismantle the existing 1,200-seat temporary stand, and build a new 950-seat structure in its place, with the loan from Northamptonshire County Council.
It says the improved facilities will enable it to bid to stage matches in the 2017 ICC Women’s World Cup, and also increase its capacity at live music shows.
A report, which will be considered by members of the council’s ruling cabinet today, recommends the approval of the loan “subject to appropriate security being obtained.”
The club says it has no cash reserves to fund the stand, which needs to be completed by next April, in time for the start of the 2014 season.
The report says: “The current temporary stand erected in 2009 is not fit for purpose. This has been confirmed by Northampton Borough Council’s health and safety officer.
“The current ground capacity is 6,000 and with this stand no longer being used, this would reduce the club to a capacity of 4,800, the smallest in the country for a county cricket club.
“The potential impact on the club is significant given the temporary stand has always been a favoured viewing choice for cricket watchers. It would be particularly damaging at a time when the club are the current t20 Champions.”
The money would be borrowed over a period of no more than five years, and will be secured against land and buildings owned by the club. It will be repaid at a market rate, plus a margin.
The work is part of the club’s plan to create a business model which is less reliant on matchday income.