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Manchester City FC reveals multi-million training complex plans

Manchester City Football Club has submitted a plan for 15 pitches and a 7,000 seat stadium as part of a youth development and training centre which it says will help regenerate part of Manchester.

The proposed development would sit on 80 acres of brown field land diagonally opposite the Etihad Stadium, at the Openshaw West area of East Manchester, and form part of the Etihad Campus, announced by the club in July. It would accommodate 400 young players who will train and study alongside senior players.

The plans include 11 full size youth development pitches and four full size first team pitches, along with a 7,000 capacity stadium for youth matches.

Around 160 construction jobs would be created during the project, 70 per cent of them for local people.  The club also said it is committed to local sourcing of materials, equipment and services for the operation and construction of the proposed site.

And it said all construction operations would be conducted “under 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”.

Proposals are expected to build on the legacy of the Commonwealth Games in terms of regeneration needs. It would also mean improved transport links - with the advent of two Metrolink tram stations due in 2012 - together with the construction of a landmark pedestrian footbridge.

The club will make a financial contribution towards proposed leisure facilities in the area, which could include the creation of a swimming pool and potential future educational facilities.

Brian Marwood, chief football operations officer of Manchester City Football Club, said:  “It is important to also make clear that the development and recruitment of youth talent is at the heart of our long term strategy of building a successful and sustainable football club for the future. 

The opportunity to build a world class facility supported by a well researched youth development plan would be a significant step in the realisation of that strategy.” 

Sir Richard Leese, leader of Manchester City Council, said: “The Etihad Stadium and Campus are at the heart of the regeneration of the wider East Manchester area and these plans will help accelerate that positive transformation.

“It is also very significant that the club are setting aside land for community use. This will enable us to bring forward complementary proposals for additional community facilities which could include a new swimming pool and leisure hub.”

The planning application, which follows six weeks of consultation, can be viewed online at Manchester City Council’s website or at the council offices. The club said its exhibition showcasing the plans attracted more than 7000 visitors online and in person and revealed a 97 per cent approval rating from respondents

The plans include:

One half size and 11 full size youth development pitches
One half size and 4 full size first team pitches
On site sleeping accommodation and classroom facility for 40 young players to allow them to train and study in a safe and secure environment
A 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

Click here to be taken to a video tour of the plans.

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