Lancashire Cricket and its world class venue, Emirates Old Trafford, have today launched a campaign aimed at sharing the knowledge and best practice gained from hosting behind-closed-doors Test Matches with the wider events industry.
Fresh from staging the Second and Third Test match this week between England and the West Indies – the first International cricket fixtures to be played since the Coronavirus pandemic – Emirates Old Trafford has unveiled ‘Safe in One Place’, a new initiative that highlights the measures required to host events, in line with current Government guidelines.
Following the announcement by Boris Johnson that business events, conferences and exhibitions will be given the go ahead to reopen on October 1, and in recognition of the impact COVID-19 has had on the £70bn UK events industry, Emirates Old Trafford is today releasing guidance publicly showing how the venue have taken learnings from the bio-secure environment that enabled them together with the ECB to safely host 300 people across the venue, including players, staff and media, on-site for behind-closed-doors Test cricket.
Lancashire Cricket Chief Executive, Daniel Gidney, said: “The Safe in One Place campaign is all about sharing the knowledge and experience that we’ve gained turning Emirates Old Trafford into a bio-secure environment with the wider events industry. What we are doing at the moment with behind-closed-doors cricket and working in conjunction with the ECB is industry-leading and this has provided us with a blueprint to move forwards and understand what events will look like in the future. We are effectively currently the only large events venue in the country that is operating and have developed strong operational discipline.
“Lancashire Cricket and Emirates Old Trafford are committed to doing all we can to help lead the way back for the industry. As a world-class venue that hosts many non-cricket events, we understand acutely just how hard the market has been impacted by the Coronavirus pandemic and how vital it is to have clear guidance to enable the hosting of commercial events, which are the lifeblood of the industry.
“We appreciate the responsibility that all venue owners and operators have in ensuring the safety of event attendees and hope that the information we are making available today, and in the coming weeks, will prove valuable as we all prepare to safely welcome guests back to our destinations. Manchester, and many other towns and cities across the UK, rely heavily on events to underpin their local economy and employment, the sooner the industry is able to restart the more jobs and business can be saved in our local communities.”
Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, who is personally supporting the campaign, added: “It’s been great to have the eyes of the world on Greater Manchester these last few days as our friends at Lancashire Cricket and Emirates Old Trafford have shown that they can safely stage Test Cricket in a world-class venue. There was a point when our world-famous weather tried to spoil the party but even that couldn’t put out the fire in Ben Stokes and the England side!
“We are all very proud of the team at Emirates Old Trafford for the work they have done to turn it into a safe and secure venue. As a city-region, we pride ourselves on the diverse number of major events we host and getting this industry back up and running is of huge importance, because we need to bring people back into our towns and cities to support our local economy.
“With the experience Emirates Old Trafford now have in delivering live, top-class cricket with all the relevant safety measures implemented, both they and Greater Manchester are able to provide guidance to others as the events industry looks to re-establish itself.”
Sheona Southern, Managing Director at Marketing Manchester commented: “We are very proud that Greater Manchester was the first destination to host an international team during the COVID-19 pandemic when the West Indies arrived ahead of their behind-closed-doors international series against England.
“Emirates Old Trafford is leading the way in terms of being just one of two venues in the world that is hosting international cricket at the moment in a bio-safe environment. The amount of work that has gone into these Tests shouldn’t be underestimated and everyone who has been involved are an absolute credit to Greater Manchester.
“There is no doubt that Emirates Old Trafford is industry-leading right now, and their Safe in One Place initiative is a campaign that we are fully supporting. To share their expert guidance and best practice to the wider events industry is fantastic, particularly now there is clarity from the Government in terms of timelines for major events to restart properly and we hope that this will give the whole events industry a kick-start, bring more events to Greater Manchester and benefit the economy in the North West.”
Tal Shefer, VP focused service brands EMEA, Hilton, said: “We’re proud that Hilton Garden Inn Emirates Old Trafford has played a part, providing a clean, safe environment for the West Indies cricket squad to relax between matches. We launched Hilton CleanStay, a global programme to deliver an industry-defining standard of cleanliness and disinfection, based on our own learnings and understanding of travellers’ new expectations. Hilton CleanStay will ensure guests at this hotel – and all other Hilton properties globally – can enjoy an even cleaner, safer stay than ever before.”