Fans asked for views on Etihad expansion plan

Simon Donohue

Fans and neighbours of Manchester City Football Club are being asked to give their views on proposals to expand capacity at the Etihad Stadium to 60,000 seats.

The club today launched an exhibition adjacent to the CityStore at the Etihad Stadium showcasing options for the potential expansion of the ground.

The capacity of the Etihad Stadium is currently around 47,500.

The club's two proposed options are to undertake the phase one expansion of the South Stand alone, to increase matchday capacity to around 54,000, or to expand both the South and North Stands at the same time, to increase matchday capacity to about 60,000.

Proposals include three options for the relocation of away fans.

The club is seeking the views of fans, local residents and other stakeholders at the free exhibition, where people will be asked to fill in a short questionnaire.

The same information and questionnaire can also be viewed online and responded to at

Subject to the outcome of the consultation exercise, the club envisages submitting a planning application to Manchester City Council in December with a view to permission being achieved in March 2014 and work starting in April 2014.

It is anticipated that the increased capacity seating could be ready in time for 2015/16 football season.

The architect for the stadium expansion is Populous. The preferred construction partner is Laing O'Rourke.

Pete Bradshaw, head of infrastructure and corporate responsibility, said that no decisions would be made about the proposed expansion of the stadium until fans and members of the local community have had an opportunity to make representations.

He said to increase capacity at the stadium would run to "tens of millions of pounds" and that it would be paid for by the Manchester City Football Club and not Manchester City Council, which leases the stadium to the club.

Bradshaw said plans are progressing for the Etihad Campus development surrounding the stadium, including the Manchester City Football Academy.

He said that development partners would be sought for potential schemes including hotels, retail and leisure amenities but that no deals had yet been done.

He said the joint development board responsible for securing such partnerships was ready to take advantage of any upturn in the economy.

Beyond the immediate vicinity of the Etihad Stadium and separate to the stadium expansion proposal, work has now begun on the transformation of Beswick into a sport and community hub.

A joint regeneration project between Manchester City Council, urban regeneration company New East Manchester and Manchester City Football Club, the project will transform a 16-acre site, providing new leisure, education and employment opportunities.

Beswick's transformation will include a new leisure centre with a public swimming pool, Connell Sixth Form College – a 600-place sixth form college for 16-21 years meeting growing demand for sixth form places in the area – and a new rugby pitch.

The plans will also include improved local shops and changes to the road layout, public realm and car parking infrastructure to improve road safety and create a pedestrian friendly environment.

Laing O'Rourke will deliver the project.

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