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Lord’s reveals £200 million Populous-designed redevelopment plans

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The Marylebone Cricket Club has revealed scaled down plans by Populous for the £200 million redevelopment of Lord’s cricket ground in west London

The first development phases will be worth £90 million and take place from 2014-19, funded entirely by the MCC. The remaining phases, which will be built out between 2021-2027 will be part-financed by borrowing.

The announcement comes two years after a £400 million masterplan by Herzog & de Meuron for the west London venue was shelved.

The latest masterplan was presented to MCC members on 1 May and is expected to be worth £180-£200 million.

The MCC will tackle planning permission for the redevelopment in stages, and is not seeking planning permission for the masterplan as a whole.

The cricket club plans to submit its first application to Westminster City Council at the end of this year, covering the new Warner Stand and the new Garden Entrance at Grove End Road. Project approval will be sought from MCC members in the spring of 2014 after receiving planning permission.

The redevelopment will begin on the Warner Stand in the autumn of 2014 and finish with reconstruction of the Compton and Edrich Stands in 2027.

The masterplan reflects the cricket club’s aim to provide ‘the finest ground in the world’ under its ten-year plan, adopted in late 2012, incorporating the Main and Nursery Grounds at their current size, establishing ‘individual, architecturally-significant stands’ and ‘maintaining the unique character of Lord’s with gardens and trees’.

Populous is working with the Lord’s ‘ground working party, chaired by Colin Maber, an architecture graduate from the University of Nottingham who led redevelopment of the Trent Bridge cricket ground.

Their priority has been to improve crowd circulation in the ground, which will be achieved by incorporating more bar and restaurant facilities in the new stands and developing subterranean access facilities to reduce service traffic.

Colin Maber, the Chairman of MCC’s Ground Working Party and Estates committee, said the staged redevelopment ‘can be flexed to reflect changing economic circumstances, technology and research’.

‘The masterplan has been designed to provide a framework within which ground development over the next 15 years can be set,’ he added.

‘The phased approach allows room for flexibility and evolution. Our key principles – on the absolute need to retain the size of both grounds, on keeping Lord’s as a Ground rather than making it a stadium, on the importance of green open spaces, and on enhancing the experience for every visitor – will underpin all we do.’

MCC President, Mike Griffith, said: ‘This masterplan has cricket at its heart. We have a duty to ensure any changes made to Lord’s reflect the love we have for cricket, its history and its heritage.

‘Lord’s is the Home of Cricket and this Masterplan will reinforce the special place the Ground has within the game by making it even better for every player and spectator who comes here.’ 

The masterplan includes:

  • Rebuilt Warner, Tavern & Allen, Compton and Edrich Stands;
  • The resiting of the Nursery Ground towards the Wellington Road, over the Club’s leasehold land;
  • A new entrance on Grove End Road which will be the main point of access on non-match days, and will supersede the Grace Gates as the Members’ entrance on match days;
  • Extensions to the Pavilion to reinstate its symmetry and establish more pitch-facing facilities for players and match officials;
  • An increase to the capacity of Lord’s by 2,700 to 32,000;
  • New buildings at the North, East and Grace Gates incorporating banqueting facilities, retail space and offices for MCC and ECB staff;
  • A new Food “Street” behind the Compton and Edrich Stands to replace the existing Food Village; and
  • New, subterranean car-parking, access routes, waste management, catering and storage facilities.


Populous was hired to work up alternative plans for Lord’s cricket ground in April 2012 following the collapse of Allford Hall Monaghan Morris’s (AHMM) redevelopment vision.

In November 2011, the 225-year-old cricket club officially abandoned a revised version of the masterplan by AHMM and developer Almacantar which featured four residential blocks, a colonnade and new indoor academy, allowing the club to expand its capacity from 28,000 to 33,000.

In October 2012 Herzog and de Meuron proposed a redevelopment plan incorporating luxury apartments and an extension to neighbouring Wellington hospital. A previous £400 million masterplan by Herzog & de Meuron for the west London venue was shelved in 2011.

Populous principal and Olympic Stadium designer Philip Johnson previously worked on a 2006 masterplan for the Lord’s. The outfit was also hired to transform the Lord’s for archery during the 2012 London Olympics.


Construction phases

The first period of construction work will include: 

  • The rebuilding of the Warner stand with an addition of 700 new seats, due for completion in 2016;
  • The establishment of a new Garden Entrance through the existing car park in  Grove End Road, starting in 2014, and completed in 2017, alongside improved and enlarged Museum, Library and Reception facilities; and
  • New Tavern and Allen Stands including 2,000 new seats, a new Thomas Lord Building, and extensions to the Pavilion. These works are due to start in 2016, and will be completed in time for the 2019 ICC World Cup. ECB staff will be temporarily relocated to the new Thomas Lord Building.

After a pause to host the ICC World Cup, the second period of construction work will commence at the end of the 2020 season, and will entail:

  • A new Food “Street” behind the back of the Compton and Edrich Stands;
  • In 2021, a new East Gate building, including a subterranean service entrance, and housing banqueting and retail facilities, due for completion in 2024;
  • The removal of the Nursery Pavilion and extension of the Nursery Ground onto the Club’s leasehold land – for use by the 2025 season;
  • A new North Gate building to house ECB, starting in 2024 and complete by 2027; and
  • Reconstruction of the Compton and Edrich Stands to establish better-quality seating, with potential extra flexible capacity, commencing in 2027.
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