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Thousands of spectators to this year’s Ashes matches at Durham will enjoy the cricket from new seating at Durham County Cricket Club, funded with a £1.2million loan from the North East Local Enterprise Partnership’s Investment Fund.

Permanent seating for an extra 5,000 people is now in place at the cricket club, bringing the total permanent seating to 15,000. The high quality seating was put in place in a matter of weeks.

David Land, North East LEP board member, said: “The £1.2m of funding from the North East Investment Fund means that new permanent seating has been bought and installed in time for an outstanding summer at the ground. It is an important development towards the completion of the Emirates Durham International Cricket Ground as a world-class stadium, confirming Durham as a first class location for international cricket.

“It’s great news that the stadium now has a full complement of top quality seats in front of the magnificent backdrop of Lumley Castle. We’re all eagerly looking forward to the Ashes’ Test match at Durham, and the other international events which have already agreed to come to Durham between now and 2016.

David Harker, chief executive of Durham County Cricket Club said:
“The new seating is central to Durham’s success in hosting international events. We’re delighted at the speed the seating has been put in place and at the difference it makes to the ground. The North East LEP’s investment fund was ideal for us, and the North East LEP moved quickly to provide strategically important funding within a tight timescale.

“We’re now ready for an exciting Ashes event from Durham, welcoming visitors from all over the world to the North East.”

David Land said:
“The £1.2million for seating is part of a larger sum the LEP agreed to make available to support further infrastructure projects at Durham County Cricket Club’s Chester-le-Street ground. We now have a superb cricket venue to host world-class events at the heart of the region, attracting global, national and local visitors to the area.”

The North East LEP’s £60 million investment fund is available for local businesses and developers looking for loan finance at competitive rates to expand their operations, build new premises or undertake housing and industrial or commercial developments.

Further information from Christine Holland, Holland PR & Marketing Ltd. Tel 01670 7790246 or 07711 698246

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