Headingley Stadium presents unique access and security challenges

Headingley is home to the Leeds Rhinos and Yorkshire County Cricket Club and is undergoing a £50m investment programme © MATTHEW MERRICK PHOTOGRAPHY

Headingley Stadium is a double-faced sports stadium that works seamlessly for both Yorkshire County Cricket Club and the rugby league club Leeds Rhinos. 

The jointly owned stand is undergoing a significant £50 million investment programme over a 20-year period, involving architects and designers coordinating with different needs and security aspects. It posed a unique set of challenges for ironmongers Em-B and architects DLA in Leeds. Security, public safety, and access control were all key considerations throughout.

Double trouble

Em-B worked on both sides of the stand including boxes, changing rooms, hospitality areas and concourses: a complex brief. The owners, Caddick Group, brought in Em-B as the result of previous successful projects, bringing them in at a very early stage of the process to consult on security and access control. The project had been planned by architects DLA for six years. The spec, especially for the hospitality areas, was exceptionally high. The client wanted the directors’ suite to have the finish of a high-end boutique hotel rather than a sports stadium, combined with high levels of security for corporate and players’ entrances. 

High spec hospitality areas

“Em-B worked closely with us to manage all of the hardware requirements for the complex Headingley stand project. We have worked with Em-B in the past and knew we could rely on them to deliver the outcomes we wanted,” said Chris Wilson, of client Caddick Construction. The project was a complex one with different requirements from the cricket and rugby clubs – from high security access control to high-end hospitality areas across both sides of the stand. Em-B coordinated two architects, two designers, steel door and shutter manufacturers to deliver an end product that looks great, works seamlessly and is totally compliant with all the regs.”

Cylinder and locks

Also working with EM-B was Mul-T Lock. Mul-T-Lock’s high security MTL500 patented cylinder system was installed by MB Locks across hospitality and stands at Headingley Stadium.

Mul-T-Lock worked closely with EM-B from the initial design process, working in partnership as technical design consultants for door hardware, and checking compliance across the premises, with a focus on hospitality and stand security, to bring the project together.

To date, over 250 MTL500 cylinders have been installed on a master key suite, providing high-security protection and flexibility to accommodate the different access control requirements across the stadium complex.

Mul-T-Lock MTL500

Rob Oates, commercial director at Headingley Stadium said: "We have, and continue to invest, a significant amount to ensure Headingley Stadium meets the strict criteria for both test cricket and Super League rugby.  We need to ensure every level of detail is commissioned to be as secure as possible both now and in the future, without compromising on aesthetics and finishing styles."

"MB-Locks, together with Mul-T-Lock, demonstrated the advantages of MTL500, and I was especially impressed with the flexibility of the master key system and its ability to incorporate all of our key access requirements.  

“MTL500 master key suite is now installed in the stadium’s hospitality areas and stands, with minimum disruption to the dual ground operations."

Mul-T-Lock’s MTL500 is the first cylinder in the UK to be supported by a unique key authorisation magnetic strip card. This card must be presented to a registered MTL500 locksmith before any additional keys can be supplied to ensure tight control of key duplication.

Lee Mitchell, Mul-T-Lock regional sales manager said of the project: “The specification for Headingley Stadium, especially for the hospitality areas was exceptionally high.  And this all had to be considered with top levels of security and access control for corporate and players’ entrances.

“Mul-T-Lock worked with EM-B Locks to deliver the tailor-made solution that could accommodate the different access requirements, all without compromising on aesthetics or security.  All ultimately operating off the high protection MTL500 master key system to offer the highest level of patent protection throughout the dual stadium premises.”

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