Cllr Simon Henig: “Well we are one of the
host venues for the Cricket World Cup. We’re delighted that the Cricket World Cup is coming
to County Durham. We’ve got three games starting with Sri Lanka playing against South
Africa, we’ve got West Indies and Sri Lanka and then finally England against New Zealand.
We’re really looking forward to those games, we know we are going to have visitors coming
from far and wide to the cricket ground here in Chester-le-Street, boosting the economy
of County Durham and we’re really looking forward to being part of this Cricket World
Cup. The Cricket World Cup will bring people in
to the county, we’re expecting tens of thousands of visitors from right across the UK and overseas.
Those visitors will spend money in the county, they’ll stay in hotels, spend money on leisure,
food, accommodation. Hopefully they can be persuaded to come back again and also the
people watching at home, those fantastic images of Lumley Castle behind the Cricket Ground,
hopefully, will be inspired also, to come and visit County Durham in the future.
So, it’s not about just these few days, as exciting as those are. It’s about setting
our stall out, that County Durham is a fantastic place to come and visit, there is lots going
on here and that all bodes well for us moving into the future.
We should say as well that Chester-le-Street, the town is open for business. A lot of people
will be coming through Chester-le-Street before the game and after.
There are plenty of opportunities for people in terms of eating, drinking and so on, both
before and after and businesses across the town. We’re very much open for business
for everyone coming through to the World Cup and we very much look forward to welcoming
all supporters to Chester-le-Street over the next few days.
Well if you are lucky enough to have one of the tickets then obviously we’ve got the
three games here over the next few days. But if you haven’t got a ticket we’ve got
a free fan zone in the middle of Durham City at the Millennium Square, and also in the
Market Place, and there are various things going on including live coverage there, as
well as other activities as well. So, we would really encourage people to come along to the
fan zone, get involved in this world cup and be part of this great celebration that’s
been going on across the country over the last few weeks.
The sculpture has been put up by the councils Green and Clean team and obviously it’s
to celebrate the Cricket World Cup. I think it also shows the dedication of our team at
the council in terms of a clean and green County Durham and people will know that it’s
not just at the time of the world cup, it’s throughout the year, in terms of the number
of initiatives we do to keep County Durham as tidy as we can. It’s looking fantastic
at the moment, it’s great to have this sculpture here, behind us which is really distinctive
in terms of World Cup venues and it’s not just here for the three cricket games, but
it’s here as part of our entry for Northumbria in Bloom this year and will be up here for
some time. And, you know, it really does show the ingenuity
of some of our employees in the Clean and Green team at the council in terms of coming
up with that sculpture which has already created quite a lot of interest.
I think it’s incredibly exciting that County Durham is part of this Cricket World Cup.
We’ve seen the excitement in venues in London, Leeds, Manchester, Birmingham and to be a
part of that in County Durham, a truly international event, where people are coming from across
the globe and people are coming here to Chester-le-Street, to County Durham as part of that event. That
is fantastic to be part of that, the world will be focussing on County Durham over the
next few days, it’s great to be part of it.
It’s fantastic that we’ve got this lovely weather as well to show off County Durham,
to show off North East England at its best and I’m sure lots of people will be returning
here afterwards which is great to see, boosting our economy, and really putting County Durham
on the map.