Kent’s ambitious redevelopment of their Canterbury headquarters appears to be bearing early fruit following news of a £188,000 profit for 2011, compared to the previous season’s deficit of almost £600,000.
The St Lawrence Ground renovation programme has been part-financed by the sale of the Bat & Ball field, the old practice nets area and, more recently, the club office block, all for re-development and the building of new homes.
The resultant facelift has led to permanent floodlights, a new dressing room block and refurbishment to the Ames Stand, Underwood & Knott Stand and the Chiesman Pavilion. This, together with improved marketing and sponsorship schemes, has helped to create new income streams and improve usage of the ground during the close-season.
Work is currently underway to construct a new office complex and entry plaza complete with a Sainsbury’s Local store, while phase three of the plan will result in a three to four-star hotel on the Old Dover Road side of the ground.
In announcing the county’s improved financial position, Kent chairman George Kennedy said: “We’re delighted to announce an operating profit for 2011 of £188,000, compared to a loss of £595,000 in 2010. After taking into account taxation adjustments and interest charges, the overall profit was £379,000.
“The financial benefits of the work carried out at the St Lawrence Ground in the last year are starting to show in our results. We now have conferencing and event facilities which make Kent Cricket a year-round business, in effect making the ground ‘fit for purpose’.
“In addition, the club’s plan for hotel development remains an important part of our future strategy and it is hoped that this too will progress in the near future. These financial results, coupled with the recent appointment of Jimmy Adams as head coach, gives me great confidence in the future of Kent cricket.”