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Huge Manchester City Academy Plans: Pictures and Video

Simon Binns on how East Manchester is getting the 'wow' factor

Published on September 19th 2011.


Huge Manchester City Academy Plans: Pictures and Video

CHECK this out.

Here's a first glance at Manchester City's proposed new youth academy and first team training centre.

The club submitted a planning appication for the 80 acre site today, which includes a 7,000 seater stadium, 15 full size pitches, two half-size pitches and accommodation for 40 youngsters. There'll be a school with 200 places too.

Depending on the speed of getting planning permission and putting the construction team together, it could all be open anywhere from Summer 2014 to the middle of 2016.

"The casino is off the table but the proposed site isn't forgotten about. There's lots of planning going on around that site but it makes sense to engage the market after the club has all the plans in place for the academy."

New York-based architect Rafael Vinoly drew up the plans but the club are keen to ensure the majority of the 160 or so constuction jobs stay local.

Manchester City sent Nick Smith, who heads up international business development for the club, on his travels for two years, to take in some of the world's best sporting facilities - including the Nou Camp, Ajax Arena and the Emirates as well as the New York Knicks, LA Rangers, the Nike HQ in Oregon and the Australian Institute of Sport. All in, Smith visited nine countries over four continents.

So City are pretty serious about having the best training facility in the world.

The lease is coming up on Carrington and Platt Lane has 'outgrown its use' according to the club's head of academy, Mark Allen.

Eddie Smith, chief executive of New East Manchester, told Confidential other sites had been looked at, including locations on the Cheshire Plain and other parts of East Manchester.

The Etihad Stadium will link to the facility via a new footbridge, but the club and council are holding off on plans for the 'collar site' - the bit where the casino would have gone - until the academy is up and running.

"The casino is off the table but the collar site isn't forgotten about," Eddie Smith said.

"I think it makes East Manchester an easier sell when we have the academy up and working. It will increase the area's profile.

"There's lots of planning going on around that site but it makes sense to engage the market after the club has all the plans in place for the academy."

The site is currently owned by the council and Eddie Smith said there had been no discussions about selling it in part or total to the club, or sell bits of it off to other investors. 

Three new Metrolink stops around the academy and stadium, opening next year, should also make the area a greater pull - you get the feeling the scale of ambition for the collar site is flexible.

How much is this all going to cost? Nobody was saying but some off the record whisperings estimated hundreds of millions.

Anyway, have a look at the video and pictures below and see what you think.

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9 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

the Whalley RangerSeptember 19th 2011.

Anything to do with Garry Cook's departure?

1 Response: Reply To This...
Simon BinnsSeptember 20th 2011.

They weren't keen to talk about Mr Cook, funnily enough...

Just another press releaseSeptember 19th 2011.

Overspend? Not up to the job? UK Journalism is dead!

Simon BinnsSeptember 20th 2011.

Remarkable. I actually went to the press briefing, took notes from the speakers, spoke to them afterwards, then wrote this piece.

You clearly know more about how I do my job than I do though eh?

Just another press releaseSeptember 20th 2011.

Soz matey, my gossip side just got the upper hand - I do apologise.

Callum McGowanSeptember 20th 2011.

Looks fantastic (and I don't even support them!).

Eric Wyn RobertsSeptember 20th 2011.

Much better to invest in people and their future than the gamble with the casino, which thankfully was ditched.

James SpencerSeptember 20th 2011.

I hope that ManCity will continue and enhance its community involvement. Did they mention any of this? The 'redundant sites' should also remain 'sporting' and benefit their communities. What people... whose future? Its a lot of money to spend on a baby 'elite' most of whom go nowhere who probably never goes anywhere.

bob localSeptember 26th 2011.

yeah, 'community involvement' - like charging your local community to use the five-a-side sports pitches on Platt Lane. Brilliant community involvement...

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