Warwickshire hope to get their ‘master plan’ to rebuild the Pavilion End of Edgbaston under way in earnest in early April, members were told at the club’s annual general meeting last night.
After hearing that the club’s financial situation has enjoyed a “very welcome turnaround” in the last year – a £478,000 profit – members were told that the £30?million pavilion scheme is set to go before Birmingham City Council planners on March 26.
Approval is far from a formality with more than 40 objections having been lodged. And even if councillors vote in favour, the council still has to then sanction a substantial loan to the Bears to enable the redevelopment to go ahead.
But Warwickshire chief excecutive Colin Povey last night dared to envisaged the best-case scenario: That the end of the long and tangled preparatory process is in sight.
“I am hopeful that, by the start of the season, we will have both planning permission and a financial commitment from the council in place,” Povey said. “The council has stated its intention to hold fire on the loan decision until the planning process is complete so as not to put any implied pressure on that process.
“Our intention is still very much to start demolition before the end of the season and have the whole scheme complete by the summer of 2011 when we hope to stage the Test against India.”
Cricket business at last night’s meeting saw Tony Frost collect the 1st XI all-rounder of the year award. Jonathan Trott won the batting award while Chris Woakes took the bowling accolade.
Richard Johnson was named most improved 2nd XI player, Nathan Newport the under-19s player of the year and Ateeq Javed was the most promising young cricketer and under-17s player of the year.
Bears member Kim Jones failed in his attempt to win a place on the general committee.
The five incumbents – Neil Houghton, Jamie McDowall, Iain Metcalfe, Jeremy Payne and Malcolm Willcox – were re-elected though the number of votes cast for each candidate was not shared with the members.