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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.
9 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.
I quite like the idea. It would only be for a month or so and cause no lasting damage.Read more
Agreed - more examination of these articles please. The markets make the city seem artificially…Read more
Fascinating stuff, bring it onRead more
Love it. It would certainly bring these old statues to lifeRead more