City & Council sign east Manchester agreement
- 12 March 2010 08:00
- Posted by Tim Oscroft
Manchester City Council, New east Manchester (NEM) and Manchester City Football Club (MCFC) have today signed a formal agreement to collaborate to create a transformation plan for east Manchester, focussed on the area around the City of Manchester stadium.
A Joint Development Board (JDB) has been formed between the three parties, which will harness the respective strengths of the constituent members – Manchester City Council’s and New east Manchester’s land ownership, their proven track record in regeneration, and their access to public funding together with Manchester City Football Club’s commercial leverage with brand partners and history of investment in all aspects of the club’s development.
The agreement creates the opportunity for a long-term partnership between Manchester City Council, NEM and MCFC, to develop their mutual ambitions for the area. All of the parties share the desire for any commercial development to deliver long lasting economic and community growth to the east Manchester area.
The agreement provides the context for work which is now underway on the short term, and potential long term possibilities for the area.
In the short term, the Joint Development Board will seek to enhance the destination role of the Sportcity site and to enrich the visitor experience by the provision of superior amenities and improved surroundings. The aim is to deliver a better space for fans on match days as well as providing year round activity for residents and new visitors on non-match days, thereby truly embedding the stadium in the heart of its east Manchester community.
In the medium to longer term, the Joint Development Board will look at proposals for the commercial development of land held by the three parties and will look to capitalise on the opportunities to further regenerate east Manchester and to create a nationally significant destination.
The combined interests of the land, held by the three parties represents a total of around 200 acres, including the existing Sportcity campus and 59 acres of land in Openshaw West owned by Manchester City Football Club. The Club has confirmed that it is its intention that over time, the potential development of this land would form part of its contribution to the regeneration of east Manchester.
Manchester City Football Club has recently completed an exhaustive 14 month study of leading elite sporting facilities around the World. This due diligence will inform the Club’s decision as to what potential additional football facilities may eventually be a feature of MCFC’s contribution to the regeneration of east Manchester.
Sir Richard Leese, Leader of Manchester City Council added, “The collective strength of the Council and the Club, two very ambitious partners, will be the engine of economic growth and will build on the regeneration work already in evidence in the area. From the securing of the Metrolink tram system to the building of world class sporting facilities in and around Sportcity, there has already been real vision in creating a sustainable future for east Manchester.
“The City of Manchester Stadium has also been a credit to the city and this further investment will enable local people who can work to work, will give our young people the best possible start in life and will make east Manchester a place in which to work, invest, live and visit.”
Simon Bate, Chair of New east Manchester Ltd comments further,
"This agreement is truly pivotal for this area. It will gives us the chance to restore economic dynamism to east Manchester, enabling businesses, local residents and football supporters alike to benefit from future investment.
“The City of Manchester Stadium and Sportcity facilities have been central to raising the profile of east Manchester and have inspired confidence and new investment here. The creation of a destination leisure opportunity in east Manchester has been a core element of our vision for the area and our ability to give real consideration to this now is truly exciting."
Talking of the agreement, Chief Executive Officer of Manchester City FC, Garry Cook said, “Manchester City has been and always will be at the heart of the community it serves in the City of Manchester. The longer term considerations for the area reflect the long term commitment of our owners to the club and the community it serves.”
Today’s agreement builds on the sports legacy from the Commonwealth Games, which gave Manchester the City of Manchester Stadium, the Velodrome and more recently the world’s first indoor BMX arena. The sporting regeneration teamed with the Metrolink expansion, new schools and the Club’s commitment to promote improvements to the quality of life for local residents has had a significantly positive impact on the area.
All parties are keen to ensure local employment and local suppliers are utilised and are committed to supporting Manchester’s low carbon city ambitions for all potential future development plans.