One year at the crease

21 November 2020 

Lord’s held its first Twenty20 game in front of the new stands in August (image courtesy of MCC)

Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) and ISG look back on a year working together at Lord’s Cricket Ground.

It was September 2019 when ISG and Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) broke ground at the Home of Cricket, Lord’s Cricket Ground, to mark the start of the Compton and Edrich stands redevelopment.

Once complete, the new-look Compton and Edrich stands will include two premium hospitality restaurants and 12 food and drink units. They will offer improved accessibility with wheelchair enclosures and amenity seating on all levels.

Set out in two construction phases, the plan was to have the stands ready to a point that fans could enjoy the 2020 summer of cricket, before continuing work to ensure the new stands were fully complete with supporting facilities, in time for the 2021 season. However, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the reduced cricket season allowed ISG to continue to progress the scheme over the summer, having implemented social distancing measures in accordance with government guidelines.

MCC recently held a small event for project stakeholders to view the progress of the redevelopment and to celebrate the first anniversary of breaking ground.

ISG contracts director, Eamonn Wall, was in attendance and said: “It’s great to see the project progressing so well despite the challenges 2020 has bought, not just for us, but for people and businesses everywhere. It is a testament to the team here that they’ve overhauled the site to be Covid-safe and are continuing to deliver this project for our client and the cricket community. ”

How Lord’s became Covid-compliant

The Covid-19 pandemic has brought unprecedented challenges for people, society and the construction industry. ISG has already seen how the pandemic has impacted the industry significantly despite everyone’s effort in making the new normal work.

To stay compliant with government guidance, ISG’s requirements and to keep sites open, the Lord’s project team undertook measures such as re-arranging the site layout and producing a Covid action plan. These included carrying out regular site inspections to enforce compliance with Covid-19 arrangements – in particular in relation to social distancing and moving to virtual project meetings.

For site operatives, MCC provided a space within the function facilities of the Nursery Pavilion and Indoor Cricket Centre, to extend our canteen and welfare facilities over a larger area to support social distancing. They also allowed ISG team members and sub-contractors to utilise their staff car park and other available space, when it was not possible to travel to site via public transport.

Preserving a proud history

Here are just a few interesting facts in how the stands have been constructed and the work ISG has done to reach this stage:

  • 7,000m³ of material has been excavated from the site in demolishing the old stands
  • 2,000 tonnes of steel have been installed to create the superstructure now in place
  • 1,300 separate pieces of pre-cast concrete form the terracing of the three tiers, standing at 24 metres high, which offer unparalleled views of the hallowed turf and iconic Grade II*-listed Pavilion
  • The majority of the 11,600 seats fitted have been re-used from the previous stands to mitigate waste, and they all offer unrestricted views of the playing area
  • The stands offer an additional 2,600 seats, increasing the Ground’s capacity to 31,600.

The second phase commenced in October 2020 and includes the installation of a canopy roof, the internal fit-out of the integrated facilities and an elevated walkway at the back of the stands which will improve crowd flow throughout while providing impressive views over the Nursery Ground.

World class design

MCC Assistant Secretary (Estates and Ground Development), Robert Ebdon, said: “We recognised the world-class design of the new stands at the start of the project back in 2018. Seeing them now take shape in front of us at Lord’s reaffirms that when complete, the stands will be truly outstanding. They already complement the Ground’s character and we are looking forward, when it is safe to do so, to welcoming crowds back to Lord’s to experience these exceptional stands for themselves.”

The reimagined Compton and Edrich stands, designed by one of the world’s leading architectural practices, WilkinsonEyre, are scheduled to be completed next May ready for the 2021 cricket season – meaning the ISG team is well and truly entering its final innings…