WORK on a project set to bring “the biggest change to the Taunton skyline since the building of the churches” is running smoothly at the Cooper Associates County Ground.

Five floodlights are being installed at the home of Somerset County Cricket Club, until now one of only two First Class counties not to have lights.

Developers are currently digging 11 metres into the ground to install the lights, which will make use of LED technology and stand 54 metres high when the assembly is complete.

Somerset chief executive Andrew Cornish told the County Gazette: “We had a bit of a blip at the beginning and you always worry when that happens, but the team have been really good and we are working slightly ahead of schedule at the moment.

“The most visible changes will be just after Christmas, and then testing begins in February.

“I think it will be the biggest change to the Taunton skyline since they built the churches.”

Where will the lights be?

  • In the Priory Avenue car park (next to the Somerset Pavilion)
  • Between the Andy Caddick Pavilion and the Viv Richards Gates
  • Next to the Colin Atkinson Pavilion
  • Behind the Sir Ian Botham Stand
  • Next to the scoreboard on Gimblett's Hill

The club are limited to how often they can use the lights - though this number is greater in the first year to allow for trials - but they are set to be fully operational for the World Cup match between Afghanistan and New Zealand on June 8, one of three matches Taunton is hosting in the tournament.

The development will also bring a new dimension to Somerset’s evening T20 games throughout the summer, as Cornish explained.

“We will be able to start our T20 matches later – the 4.30pm starts we had this season can become 6.30pm or 7pm – and we can try and make the ground a hub of activity with things like a fan zone and food courts,” he said.

“We want the ground to be a real destination for people to visit in Taunton, and we want spectators to be able to get here in good time and enjoy themselves for the evening.”