Taunton boost for women


England women will have new offices at Taunton from the 2009 season © Getty Images

England women are set to benefit after Somerset revised plans to revamp their Taunton home.

Under the new plans, offices for England women's cricket have been pencilled in for the top floor of a new ‘club hub’.

This will be adjoined to the pavilion and situated next to the centre of excellence at the County Ground.

The changes came after Somerset announced a funding shortfall of £8million for the redevelopment project.

The first phase, to build new stands and retirement flats, will still go ahead on the west side of the ground.

But the second phase, on the St James Street car park and the Old Pavilion, has been stalled because of concerns about the club's long-term finances.

The ‘club hub’ will house offices for both Somerset and England women, changing rooms and a new gym including a hydrotherapy pool.

The current pavilion will eventually be turned into a conference centre.

Chief executive Richard Gould told the Somerset website: “The key aim is we want to update the players’ facilities and we think we can achieve this by linking the Ondaatje Pavilion and the indoor school, at the new club hub.”

He added: “The construction of the new club hub is planned to begin at the end of the forthcoming season and we hope to have it completed in time for the 2009 season.

“The cost of this new building will be in the region of £1.3m, which is being partially funded from the existing development in addition to which we are also seeking to recruit additional partners.”