Bristol City Council has approved  plans to redevelop Gloucestershire's County Ground to increase capacity to 20,000.

The redevelopment includes a world class media centre, improved conferencing and hospitality facilities and also 350 student accommodation units.

The County Ground currently has a capacity of 16,000, using permanent and temporary seating.

Rex Body Chairman of Gloucestershire County Cricket Club said: "It is difficult to stress the importance of the proposed developments to our long term future in Bristol, not only for the County team and the Club as a whole but also for our surrounding community.

“We are pro-actively seeking to expand our community links, including developing the current disability cricket programme, building on our existing links with local schools and strengthening the recreational club game including the creation of a "Gladiators" women's team.

“However, these ambitions will be severely curtailed without the improvements to the ground.”

The proposed development will meet new ECB criteria, enabling the ground to continue hosting International cricket which is a major source of income for the club.

The ECB have ruled that by 2011, any stadium that hosts International matches must have a minimum of 18,000 seats.

Gloucestershire County Cricket Club have played cricket at Nevil Road since 1889 and have hosted International games since 1999, becoming a regular venue for England One day International matches since 2003.

Posted on 11/03/2010