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Volume 6 No. 197


Financial services company Legal & General partnered with Leeds City Council to fund the redevelopment of Headingley Stadium. This latest deal brings Legal & General's total investment in Leeds to more than £600M ($791.3M). Comprising the redeveloped stand, which sits on the south side of Headingley Cricket Stadium and the adjacent north stand of Headingley Rugby Stadium, the property will be let to Leeds City Council on a 42-year lease, and under-let to the cricket and rugby clubs jointly. Legal & General is financing the roughly £35M ($46.2M) redevelopment on behalf of Legal & General Retirement. The stadium is the home of the Yorkshire County Cricket Club, Championship rugby side Yorkshire Carnegie and Super League club Leeds Rhinos. The deal will help secure the future of Headingley as home to top-level int'l sport, upgrading the seating capacity and providing facilities which will meet future standards. It is estimated that once complete, the new stands will generate additional expenditure of more than £107M ($141.1M) by '23. Pete Gladwell, Head of Public Sector Partnerships at Legal & General Investment Management Real Assets, said, "There is significant economic benefit that maintaining 'Test' status for Headingley will bring to the city and the wider region, which makes this redevelopment another important investment in the city" (Legal & General).

Scottish Premiership side Heart of Midlothian Manager Craig Levein admitted the club has "drawn up a Plan B" if building work on its new stand runs over again, according to Brian McLauchlin of the BBC. The team has played home games at Murrayfield during stadium redevelopment of the main stand. Hearts are due to host Kilmarnock on Nov. 5 and the club is "determined to see that played at Tynecastle." Hearts Owner Ann Budge set a date of early September for playing matches at Tynecastle, but the club was "forced to play recent fixtures at Murrayfield after a delay in building work." Levein said, "We don't need the place to be finished. We just need it ready to put a game on. I'm hopeful. There is a Plan B, but I have not been party to those discussions just yet" (BBC, 10/19).