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Floodlight work starting at Somerset CCC.

 

Anyone visiting the Cooper Associates County Ground in Taunton this week will have noticed that the initial work for the installation of floodlights has begun.

Somerset Chief Executive Andrew Cornish explained exactly what is going to happen at Somerset's town centre home.

“We will be having five pylons and each one will be 55 metres high and 11 metres deep in to the ground. These will be supporting arrays of LEDs which will be the first of their type in the northern hemisphere. The arrays weigh six tonnes so you can see why the pylons need to be 11 metres underground.


“LEDs are a lot more efficient than traditional lights. They last longer, they need replacing less often, they use less electricity and they light up immediately. They are state of the art technology with benefits to the environment and benefits on cost compared to traditional bulbs.

“There will be two pylons in the Priory Bridge Road car park, one in the St James Street car park, one by the Groundsman’s shed and one between the Trescothick and Botham Stands.

“Work began on Monday and we will be looking to run initial tests in February. It’s quite a long process and initially you won’t see a lot happening, but it will all apparently take place in a flurry after Christmas.”

How important is it that floodlights are installed at the ground?

“It’s important for us so that we can play matches at more suitable times for our Members and spectators. It will enable us to start Vitality Blast matches later at night as opposed to having to start at 4:30. That will add to the nighttime economy of the town overall. It means that local restaurants and bars will benefit from the fact that we’ll be attracting people here later in the evening. It’s important for us but it goes far beyond just the cricket club.

“The lights will also be used in Championship cricket so that the players won’t have to go off for bad light. On those occasions the lights will be used to enhance the daylight. We will also have the ability to turn the lux levels down so that we can lower the light intensity at the close of play. This will ensure that we don’t impact on our neighbours but can still ensure that spectators leave the Ground safely.”

Somerset CCC will be staging three matches during the ICC Cricket World Cup in 2019 and one of those will see Afghanistan take on New Zealand in a floodlit match, but before then the club will be testing them out.

“We’ll have a couple of trial games first,” Cornish said. “In fact we are discussing with the coaching staff the possibility of a mini triangular T10 tournament. However, the prospect of a World Cup match here under lights is what it’s all about. That is something everyone involved with the Club is very much looking forward to.”


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