Manchester City open public consultation for training facility
Mon 18th Jul 2011 | Football Stadiums & Facilities
Manchester City Football Club has today begun a public consultation on a proposed world leading Youth Development and Training Facility.
The Club is asking local residents, its fans and other interested parties for their views on plans to develop up to 80 acres of brown field land diagonally opposite the Etihad Stadium.
The opinions of the residents of East Manchester will help shape the Club's submission for planning approval at the conclusion of the consultation period in early September.
Planning consent to improve the land in Openshaw West, acquired by the Club over the past two years, was granted in June and remediation work on the site will begin in the coming weeks.
Key elements and benefits of the proposals are as follows:
In addition to recruiting and developing top level senior professional players, the Club recognises the need to secure long term sustainability by investing in youth talent. The existing Academy, which since its inception has produced an unprecedented 30 players who have appeared for the first team, has reached its practical limits.
A comprehensive study by the Club of more than 30 elite sports development centres around the world began two years ago and provided the blueprint for a world leading youth development and first team training centre.
The centre would not only provide the Club with a competitive edge in terms of recruitment of players of all ages, but would also more than meet the requirements for a grade 1 Academy as set out by the Premier League's new Elite Player Performance Plan.
All aspects of the Club’s youth development, first team training and operations functions would be brought into the one location in the heart of East Manchester and would include:
• A new Academy for up to 400 young players with classrooms for 200
• On site accommodation for junior and senior players
• 16 football pitches, up to 12 of them dedicated to players aged from 8 to 18
• A state of the art first team building with changing rooms, gym, refectory and injury and rehab centre
• A 7,000 capacity stadium for youth matches
• Staff offices and a dedicated media centre
• A bridge linking the site to the Etihad Stadium and the rest of the Etihad Campus
Manchester City Football Club is firmly rooted within its community and their award winning City in the Community scheme touches 200,000 lives a year.
The above proposals would enable the scheme, together with partners Etihad Airways, to widen its community programs around Football, Health and Activity, Community Cohesion and Skills and Enterprise.
The Club has already provided additional football facilities to be used by more than 10,000 local young people a year at the Football and Tennis Centre adjacent to the Etihad Campus and use of the proposed 7,000 capacity stadium and certain pitches on the site would increase that figure substantially.
Significantly, Manchester City Football Club have identified up to 5.5 acres of the 80 acre site to further community use, which, led by Manchester City Council and reflecting local feedback, could include the building of an education facility and a Sports Institute.
Manchester City Council is currently undertaking its own public consultation around the draft Eastlands Community Plan (www.manchester.gov.uk/eastlandsconsultation) and it is likely that Manchester City Football Club will make a financial contribution towards proposed leisure facilities in the area which could include the creation of a swimming pool.
Regeneration - Economy and Environment
The Club’s proposals would build on the legacy of the Commonwealth Games in this priority area of the UK in terms of regeneration needs.
Around 160 construction jobs would be created during the project, 70% of them for local people. Permanent employment at a range of levels for up to 90 people is also likely with up to 80% of positions being made available for local residents.
The Club would source the majority of materials, equipment and services for the construction and operation of the site from local companies, as it did in 2009 when 92% of the cost of the development of its administrative offices was spent within ten miles of the Etihad Stadium.
In addition to remediating up to 80 acres of land which in itself will improve the local environment, the Club would plant several hundred new trees and almost a mile of yew and beech hedging around the perimeter of the site which would further enhance the area.
The centre would reach the highest possible environmental standards with low carbon, low water and low waste measures being employed to minimise impact on the environment and encourage local bio diversity.
Garry Cook, CEO of Manchester City Football Club said, “Manchester City’s ambition is to be a successful and sustainable football club and youth recruitment and development through a top class facility is a key component of that ambition. Our research to date has been painstaking and our planning comprehensive and whilst our plans would inevitably have a positive impact on both our young and established playing talent, the regenerative and economic impact for our community should not be underestimated. We welcome the views of all of the communities we serve as we seek to gain planning permission for this most exciting of proposals.”
Sir Richard Leese, leader of Manchester City Council, said: "The partnership between Manchester City Football Club, the Council and New East Manchester would accelerate the regeneration of the area, delivering significant community and economic benefits. This new facility would help us continue to improve education and skills and will create jobs and other opportunities for local residents as well as being a further example of the club's investment in the area.
"It would be complementary to other proposed developments in the area, which would combine together to fulfil our vision for East Manchester as a centre for elite sport."
Members of the public interested in taking part in the consultation can visit an exhibition at the Etihad Stadium from Tuesday July 19th to learn more about the proposed development. Exhibition opening times are 11am - 7pm, Monday to Friday and 11am - 4pm on weekends (closed matchdays).
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