Bracewell expects big boost to his budget
Director of cricket John Bracewell has revealed Gloucestershire's ambitious scheme to redevelop Nevil Road could net the county an additional £300,000 a year.
Work has already started on a project to build 147 apartments at the club's Bristol headquarters, which will enable Gloucestershire to fund extensive ground improvements.
The Jessop Stand has already been demolished and Bracewell is hoping a revamped County Ground will help Gloucestershire compete to stage regular one-day internationals in the future.
Competition from rival counties, notably Glamorgan and Hampshire, has seen a drop-off in the number of high-profile games being staged in Bristol.
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Combined with recessionary pressures caused by the economic downturn, the resultant shortfall in income has forced Gloucestershire to make extensive cuts to their playing budget in recent seasons.
A large number of experienced county professionals have moved on and been replaced by youngsters and Gloucestershire finished bottom of the County Championship Second Division last season.
But Bracewell insists the future is a lot brighter since Bristol City Council's decision to grant planning permission for the club's multi-million pound rebuilding project.
He said: "It's been a six-year wait and a lot of those years have been quite frustrating.
"There's been a hell of a lot of hard work from the board to get the plans across the line, and while we're almost at ground-zero at the moment the building of our future really relies on this whole project.
"We can stay in the lower classes or start to move forward, and that takes financial resources to invest in cricket. This is the start of it.
"A £300,000 injection into our budget will not do us any harm. With advertising, corporate and ticket sales, that is the amount you are talking about from a one-day international."
Once the redevelopment is complete, Bracewell believes improved facilities will render Gloucestershire a more attractive proposition for players, spectators and investors.
Recalling the team's recent struggles, he reasoned: "As cricketers, we have been in a holding pattern for the past four years, one with the recession and two with the constant delays (to ground redevelopment).
"Those things have certainly affected our ability to hold onto our best players and our performance on the field.
"We have a duty to the young cricketers here now to help them become successful in an ambitious set-up. This scheme gives us a vision of ambition.
"I want people to come here and say this is not the tired ground it once was. There is a perception among players who might be considering coming here to play, that this ship sinks. That has to change.
"We have to demonstrate both physically and visually that we are an ambitious county. When you have a clean ground and demonstrate ambition you are more attractive, not only to people, but to sponsors.
"This is Bristol's only international stadium and we need to captivate the city."