Old Trafford, Manchester United, c Nat Callaghan on Unsplash

The Old Trafford redevelopment ties in with the Trafford Wharfside masterplan. Credit: Nat Callaghan on Unsplash

Lord Coe to lead Old Trafford task force

The figurehead of London’s 2012 Olympics will chair the team put together by Manchester United’s incoming leadership to explore the redevelopment of the stadium and its surrounding areas.

Billed by the club as the Old Trafford Regeneration Task Force, the body will bring together local leaders and national experts to examine how stadium development can support renewal while assessing how a stadium of national significance can be best delivered.

It will be chaired by Lord Sebastian Coe, former chair of the organising committee for the 2012 London Olympics,

Other members will include Andy Burnham, Mayor of Greater Manchester, Sara Todd, chief executive of Trafford Council, and Gary Neville, former captain of Manchester United.

Neville was invited to take part by Sir Jim Ratcliffe – still holding a minority stake, but very much front and centre of the club’s efforts to renew itself across the board – in February, as plans to develop a 90,000-capacity venue were launched.

Working in synergy with Trafford Council’s Trafford Wharfside Framework – for which a draft regeneration framework has now been agreed – the project aims to support revitalisation of the area between Trafford Park and the banks of Salford Quays as the incoming INEOS team looks to tap into the levelling up agenda to drive investment in the north of England.

Lord Coe said: “Throughout my career in sport, I have seen the potential for stadiums to become focal points for strong communities and catalysts for social and economic development.

“That was certainly true of the venues we built in east London for the 2012 Olympics, and we are overdue a project of similar scale and ambition in the north of England. I am honoured to have this opportunity to share my experience in support of this tremendously exciting project.”

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It would be much easier to use the ‘ white elephant’ which is Wembley stadium.
Do the owners really think the FA will let them have meaningful finals and internationals in Trafford?
The only thing they will release is meaningless friendly internationals.
In the meantime Jim Ratcliffe will be well gone.

By Mancunian

Its not just sporting events its concerts as well. They are big money spinners especially in the summer, look at what Real Madrid have done making their stadium multi Purpose. You need to think outside of Football to realise its potential

By Jon P

Here they come looking to appropriate more of the nation’s wealth to subsidise their profits.

By Verum

Manchester has current priorities that need addressing now.
The Mayor`s focus should be on transportation for the exemplar in sports led regeneration in East Manchester. The established sports and entertainment campus with the largest indoor music arena in the country still requires an uplift in transportation infrastructure to link the city centre, through Ancoats and surrounds, to the vastly improved East Manchester as result of significant private sector investment on top of catalyst funding from the public sector.
The country already has a national stadium with an agreement with the Football Association for FA Cup Finals and semi-finals.
Manchester already has a top class football, sports, music and entertainment campus. It is so good that it will host the UEFA European Football Championship in 2028.
There is no need to try and copy this in Trafford and no need for Coe to PR front a local initiative.
Other priorities exist for taxpayers. UK taxpayers should not be expected to contribute towards what seems like a vanity project for a tax exile and big egos from a number of self serving individuals.
Focus on value for money in East Manchester not the outskirts in TRafford where there is already an impetus and spill over from Media City and Salford Quays.

By PrioritiseCurrentNeeds

The billions invested in Stratford for the Olympics benefited nobody in this country apart from Londoners.There should be an equivalent in the North. Westminster treats the North like it is another country, well give that other country a national stadium then.

By Elephant

So prioritisecurrentneed, it was OK for MCFC to get a publicly funded stadium but nobody else? The reality is that the regeneration of the the area around the Old Trafford stadium will benefit from public funding: Brownfield grants, affordable housing grants and transport funding will be made available however the rebuilding/refurbishment of the stadium will, unlike city’s ground, be carried out using private finance.

By Anonymous

Would make perfect sense to move the stadium nearer to where the fans are and play the homes games at Wembley.

By Anonymous

Here who come Verum ? Don’t just hit and run, please explain your thesis otherwise it comes across as just another rant and I’m sure that’s not what you meant.

By Anonymous

Ok Prioritescurrentneeds, we get it ,you are a Blue and want to continue the Eastlands project. It’s done well for the city and will at some point be even better but think of the bigger picture. The other side of the city can get that same kind of focus. if city got the commonwealth stadium I’m pretty sure United can go one better and that can act as a catalyst for the whole area .Either way, it’s a win for Manchester and a win for the North as a whole if we get it.

By Anonymous

Sure, keep everything sports related in Eastlands…Not. The transport network is better on the west side of the city. An international grade stadium to serve the North would be ideally placed here and help continue the growth of Media city and the quays. It needs this kind of focus to get it onto the Governments agenda so more power to them.

By Joe

England are contracted to Wembley. The Wembley of the North that Jim keeps on using is nothing more than a PR stunt.(that the football media and United fans believe)

By jrb

City didn’t get the 2002 Commonwealth Games stadium. They took it on otherwise it would have been a White Elephant. United were offered it, but they didn’t want to move to it. City gave MCC Maine Road. Every expansion of the Etihad has been paid for by Manchester City. The lease agreement for the Etihad runs for 250 years. City are currently paying £4million pounds a season to lease the Etihad. That money goes back to the residents of Manchester, blue and red. At the current rate that will be close to £1bill to lease the Etihad at the end of the 250 years lease. City are currently funding the expansion of the North stand which will take the Etihad’s capacity to 62,000, including a 3000 capacity fanzone, museum, retail, hotel, offices, and a viewing platform on top of the roof. A lot of United fans really haven’t got a clue about what It cost City lease the Etihad and to expand the Etihad. Free?

By Jrb

Yeah personally I don’t care whether city buy, rent or lease the stadium all irrelevant to this story. This is a good thing for Manchester and with United based there, well let’s face there is only one club that could fill it.

By Johnny Ringo

Sport.city never really became sport city did it? Most of it is City’s training ground which offers nothing to Manchester and just means players have to drive all the way from Cheshire


Old Trafford is not just a football stadium it’s also the much older and at one time much more famous cricket ground.Unlockimg the potential of this area should also involve discussion about cricket because a state of the art cricket stadium with a sliding closet roof would bring huge amount of people into the area for test and one day matches and at a time mostly when football is not being played
Also a national stadium is not just about England international or F A cup final it’s about F A cup semi final and champion league finals and rugby league final and potentially rugby union international matches and finals.Bythevtimebthis stadium is opened Wembley will be over 30 years old and become dated.

By Dean Smith

I’m really glad Jim won the bidding for United and have faith that it will go well. This looking for a handout isn’t a good start though.
United are one of the richest clubs in the world, they can build their own stadium!
All this guff about funds for infrastructure, its already 70 odd thousand and recently got a new tram stop. There’s also an existing train station that just needs a (relatively cheap) upgrade and decent rail operator.
United should be investing their billions in the local area. United should be funding things like the Castlefield Viaduct project as an active travel route to the city centre.

By T Cross

Fantastic lan if they can pull it off. After city were gifted the stadium at Eastlands the council has worked hard with the investors to develop the whole area, velodrome, new arena, women’s stadium etc. united can do even more now with a truly world class stadium in the north, …Wembley of the north? No ,Old Trafford will do nicely and it will be filled every week.

By Anonymous

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