Hants receive ECB loan

First published in Sport

Hampshire are one of 13 counties to benefit from loans of up to £1m provided by the England and Wales Cricket Board.

The ECB has announced an £18 million programme of investment into first-class county cricket following a board meeting at Lord’s.

Loans of up to £1 million are made available to each of the 18 first-class counties, following receipt of detailed business plans which must first be approved by both the ECB Finance Committee and the ECB Board.

They have been confirmed for the first 13 counties – Glamorgan, Gloucestershire, Hampshire, Kent, Leicestershire, Lancashire, Middlesex, Northamptonshire, Somerset, Surrey, Warwickshire, Worcestershire and Yorkshire.

The loans have been approved in return for meeting key strategic targets relating to stadia and facilities, customer relations, community programmes and business operations.

Business plans are expected from the other five first-class counties later in the year.

The loans supplement the annual fee payments made to all 18 first-class counties. Last year total expenditure on the domestic game was £49.1million, £42.6 million being fee payments to the first-class counties.

ECB Chairman Giles Clarke said: “With all sports facing increased competition for resources in a tougher economic climate, it is imperative that our First Class County clubs are financially robust, boast modern, spectator-friendly facilities and can continue to act as centres of sporting excellence within their local communities.

“Today’s announcement is part of a wider programme of transformation for the county game which will include the introduction of a new domestic playing schedule from 2014. The increased investment will help the first-class counties plan for the future with greater confidence and implement a programme of change which will help make our domestic game even more attractive to spectators, broadcasters and sponsors alike.”

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