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Yorkshire’s £9m loan on city agenda
THE length of Yorkshire’s loan with Leeds City Council will be on the agenda at an executive board meet next week.
The £9 million loan is currently due to be repaid by April 2020, although it could now be December 2025 instead.
The move is designed to help secure international cricket at Headingley beyond the existing staging agreement with the England and Wales Cricket Board, which runs until 2019, while also helping with the White Rose county’s finances.
Yorkshire’s coffers are set to be boosted over the next few weeks with a home quarter-final against Worcestershire in the Friends Life t20 in the offing.
It is a match that has been not been budgeted for. “Call it a pessimistic finance director,” quipped Charles Hartwell, Yorkshire’s finance director.
Hartwell spoke about giving the club “extra security” when referring to Leeds City Council’s plan to agree to Yorkshire’s request to extend the repayment time before adding: “It does put us in a better position to secure international cricket in the years to come.”
Coun Richard Lewis said: “As part of the drive for Leeds to be seen as the best city in the UK, maintaining international Test cricket as Headingley is hugely important for the profile of the city as well as the economic and tourism benefits which have come from thousands of people coming into Leeds every year to watch matches there.
“As a sporting venue, Headingley is one of the most famous in the world, so we are keen to do all we can to support and work with Yorkshire to ensure they are in the best position to secure international matches up to 2019 and beyond.”
Hartwell admitted recent home crowds for four of their five Twenty20 North Division games could have been better, but were by no means disastrous.
“The weather didn’t help us, as you would expect,” he said. “But we did get 10,500 for the game against Lancashire.”