The South-Western Project (SWP) is the single largest phase of the Masterplan for the redevelopment of Lord’s.
Designed by Populous, the architects of the new Warner Stand at Lord’s as well as iconic venues such as the London Olympic Stadium and the Emirates, the SWP entails: a replacement for the Tavern and Allen Stands; a new Thomas Lord Building; a new Lord's Tavern pub; and internal reorganisation of the Pavilion and Memorial Building to provide more room for cricket teams and staff.
It also will aim to open up the area around the Grace Gates on St John’s Wood Road to establish a more welcoming public realm.
The SWP was conceived as the second phase of the 2013 Masterplan, and in 2016 planning consent was granted for a scheme which would have increased the capacity of the Tavern and Allen stands by 1,082 for a cost of £95m (if construction began in 2019).
However the financial analysis undertaken for this Review has clearly illustrated the benefits of developing Nursery End beforehand: there is scope to increase capacity by approximately 2,000 in new Compton and Edrich stands, and because they are public seats they are financially more valuable than discounted Members’/Rover seats; a new event space for approximately 1,000 covers can be built at the Nursery End, compared to space for around 250 covers in a new Thomas Lord Building; and the projected cost of these Nursery End developments is approximately £6m less than the SWP.
Therefore, the Updated Masterplan prioritises the redevelopment of the Nursery End, and projects the construction of the South-Western Project to commence in late 2027.
The key components of the scheme are:
A new Tavern & Allen Stand – a single structure to replace the existing two. The design incorporates 5,200 seats, an increase of 1,082 seats compared to the existing stand.
A new Thomas Lord Building with a street-facing reception, a banqueting suite, and offices for MCC staff.
A new Tavern pub, opening into the Harris Garden as well as onto the street.
Enhancement of the area around the Grace Gates to establish a more welcoming, pedestrian-friendly public realm.
A new Harris Garden Building with a bar facing out onto the Garden and additional dressing rooms both for squash and tennis players, and to better accommodate double header matches.
Reorganisation of the Pavilion to enlarge the dressing rooms, and convert a current office, physio room and women’s toilets on the corridor between the two dressing rooms into space for team management and a players’ gym.
An enlarged and deepened basement which will enable vehicles to make deliveries directly to catering facilities etc. underground, removing the need to use the Grace Gate entrance.
As is the case with the new Warner Stand, the floodlight will be incorporated into the stand, reducing the visual impact of the shaft.
There are several key reasons why the south-western corner of the Ground will be developed:
The Tavern and Allen stands are no longer fit for purpose. They have poor accessibility with no passenger lifts, no facilities for people with disabilities, and limited catering and WC facilities.
There is scope to increase the capacity of this part of Lord’s, to better satisfy demand from Members;
It presents the opportunity to restore the special ceremonial nature of the Grace Gates, by taking delivery traffic underground below the Thomas Lord Building and new stand, and making the entrance to Lord’s more pedestrian- and public-friendly;
It can incorporate a large basement, which will enable waste management and back-of-house operations to be taken underground and improve circulation;
The Thomas Lord Building will house new staff offices and a new reception, which will improve both MCC’s operational efficiency and security.
MCC received a five-year consent from Westminster, to provide flexibility in the building timetable and reflect the fact that staging arrangements for major matches after 2019 are unlikely to be finalised before late 2017. So long as MCC makes a material start to construction within that five year period, the planning consent will remain in perpetuity.