A £35m redevelopment of Urmston’s George H Carnall leisure centre, including a new 2,000 capacity arena for the Manchester Giants, will go ahead despite the change in leadership at Trafford Council.
The proposals to redevelop the site of the leisure centre into a health, sport, and wellbeing hub were first put forward by Cllr Sean Anstee, then leader of Trafford Council, in February this year.
After last month’s local elections, there has been a change in the top at the council with Cllr Andrew Western now chosen as leader, and he has already stepped in to pull one of the previous administration’s key projects at Turn Moss where plans were in place to build a new football training ground and updated sports facilities.
Western announced the council had withdrawn its planning application for the project in the weeks following the election, and also said the new administration would “never support housebuilding on Flixton’s green belt,” a policy previously backed by the previous leadership, which had put forward areas including the William Wroe golf course for housing use.
However, it is understood a legal agreement was signed by the council for the redevelopment of 1970s George H Carnall centre and the new home for the Manchester Giants in the days prior to the local elections, meaning the project is still on course to go ahead, even if other key projects from the previous council leadership have been reconsidered.
Plans for the redevelopment include a new health centre; and around 60 affordable homes for key workers such as nurses, police staff, and social workers.
Existing sports facilities at George H Carnall will be expanded and renovated to provide a 2,000-capacity sports and events facility, alongside a club shop, office, community facilities, and a café.
The team currently plays at the Trafford Powerleague Sportsdome, and is planning to move in to its new facility in time for the 2019/20 season.
Manchester Giants is working with investor and developer Equity Solutions Group to help bring forward the project.
The proposals follow the planned redevelopment of Urmston’s 1990s leisure centre, which is being carried out by Willmott Dixon.
The project, designed by architect 5plus was given planning approval earlier this year, and additions to the original building include a café, three studios, a party room, fitness suite, and changing facilities.
Together, the updated leisure centre and the redevelopment of George H Carnall amount to an investment of around £45m in the area.
A spokesperson from Trafford Council said: “Trafford Council continue to work with Manchester Giants on a proposal, which will be subject to a full public consultation and we hope to put proposals forward in July/August 2018.”