Leicester City Council has agreed to vary the terms of a covenant on Grace Road which should help to ease Leicestershire’s current difficult financial situation.
Leicestershire and the local council have spent many months in discussions over the covenant and a Deed of Variation has now been agreed which will enable the cricket club to give some tangible security to its bankers in respect of working capital facilities that are required during its recovery from last year’s losses.
The terms of the covenant gave the city council first option on buying back the land if Leicestershire wanted to sell but with a price of just £25,000, the sum the county club paid for the extensive site in 1965.
That made borrowing any significant sum against the ground to fund developments virtually impossible, but the relaxation of the covenant should makes things a little easier for Leicestershire.
“A lot of work has been put in by both sides over many months to reach this agreement. I am delighted with the support we have received from the council’s officers and elected councillors in reaching this agreement and it will help the club enormously,” said Leicestershire chief executive Mike Siddall.
Alistair Reid, the council’s Strategic Director of Development, Culture and Regeneration, said: “Leicester City Council is delighted to be involved in helping Leicestershire CCC with a relaxation of the covenant.
“Sport is massively important to the people in the city of Leicester and we are pleased to do our bit to aid the recovery of the club.”
Leicestershire moved to Grace Road at the end of the Second World War after their previous headquarters at Aylestone Road, much closer to the city centre, suffered extensive damage while troops were billeted there.
Grace Road, which had also been Leicestershire’s home for a time in the 19th century, was owned by the local education authority when the county moved back there.