Rod Bransgrove has called it “a positive development” after The Rose Bowl’s future was secured by Eastleigh Borough Council, which has bought Hampshire’s ground and headquarters for £6.5m.
Bransgrove, chairman of Rose Bowl plc, has already ploughed a similar sum of his own money into the project but with the council’s help is now closer to his dream of ensuring the ground’s self-sustainability.
As well as buying The Rose Bowl’s 999-year lease, Eastleigh Borough Council is also providing £30m to help fund the four-star hotel that will be built at the ground’s Northern End.
Work on the hotel will start in the New Year and is now expected to be completed in time for the Rose Bowl’s second Test match, between England and India in 2014.
The news is a welcome Christmas present for everyone at the Rose Bowl, coming just months after the ground missed out on an Ashes Test in 2013 and 2015.
Bransgrove said he was “gutted” by that ECB decision, but enters 2012 confident of seeing his Rose Bowl ambitions realised.
“The Rose Bowl is truly at the heart of the local community and, moving forward with the help of our colleagues at Eastleigh Borough Council and our commercial partners, we can deliver top quality sports and entertainment to the people of Hampshire for many years to come,” he said.
“I want to thank everybody associated with The Rose Bowl and Hampshire Cricket for their support over the past few years.
“This is very much a collective effort and, while we have had our setbacks along the way, this is a positive development and one that ensures the Rose Bowl’s place as a major asset for the people of Eastleigh.”