Sport

Manchester City FC and council launch public consultation on Eastlands’ new elite training facility

By Amy Senior

Manchester City released plans for public consultation on their proposed elite training facility yesterday.

The 80 acre Openshaw West land, just opposite the Eastlands ground, has been earmarked for a transformation into a top-class youth development and training facility set to rival what many see as the world’s best – AC Milan’s Milanello.

Current training grounds Etihad Stadium, Carrington and Platt Lane will be consolidated into a Grade One Academy as per the standards set out by the Premier League’s new Elite Player Performance Plan.

The new ‘mini stadium’ will boast an academy for up to 400 young players, 16 football pitches with up to 12 dedicated to players aged 8 – 18, a specialist first team building with injury and rehab centre and a 7,000 capacity stadium (5000 seated) for youth matches.

The club has stressed its consideration for the surrounding community in its Eastlands Community Plan where it outlines likely contributions towards extra leisure facilities in the area.

The plans also outline the creation of 160 construction jobs with 70% allocated to local people with permanent jobs being offered to around 90 people and up to 80% of those being given to local applicants.

Nearby residents and Manchester’s public will have opportunities to have their say on all of the club’s academy plans until the closing date of September 1st.

Although permission has not yet been granted by Manchester City Council the club have been allowed to begin remedial work on the industrial waste land.

Sir Richard Leese, leader of the council, said:  “The partnership between Manchester City Football Club, the Council and New East Manchester would accelerate the regeneration of the area.”

He added:  “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.”

The Council, which is expected to gain around £20m from handing over the naming rights to the stadium, has also released a consultation period for plans connected to the area’s development.

They intend to build a sixth form for local teenagers and City’s academy pupils along with a sports science centre of excellence with strong links to both the club and the University of Manchester.

The club recognises that the existing academy has reached its limits, producing 30 players with first team appearances, and now sees the project as a chance to secure sustainability through investing in younger players.

“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,” said Garry Cook, CEO of Manchester City Football Club.

“We welcome the views of all of the communities we serve as we seek to gain planning permission for this most exciting of proposals.” He added.

Members of public interested in the consultation and the proposed development can visit an exhibition at the Etihad Stadium from Tuesday July 19th. Exhibition times are 11am – 7pm, Monday to Friday and 11am – 4pm on weekends.

Alternatively visit:

 www.manchestercityfootballacademy.co.uk

For the Manchester City Council consultation please visit:

www.manchester.gov.uk/eastlandsconsultation

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