Manchester City FC submits plans for Etihad Campus

Manchester City Football Club has submitted a planning application for a proposed 80-acre youth development and first team academy in the Openshaw West area of east Manchester.

The Premier League club has held a six-week period of public consultation with local residents, fans and other interested parties since July.

 Etihad Campus plans by Manchester City FCThe club said the consultation attracted in excess of 7,000 visitors online and in person and revealed a 97% approval rating from respondents.

Manchester City FC said opinions of the residents of east Manchester helped to shape the its planning application.

If planning is granted by Manchester City Council, the proposed development will include:

  • A home for up to 400 young players who will train and study alongside senior players, with a clear development pathway to the first team
  • One half size and 11 full size youth development pitches
  • One half size and 4 full size first team pitches
  • On site sleeping accommodation and classroom facility for 40 young players to allow them to train and study in a safe and secure environment
  • A planned first team building with changing rooms, gym, refectory and injury and rehab centre
  • A 7,000 capacity stadium for youth matches
  • Staff offices and a dedicated media centre
  • A bridge across Alan Turing Way linking the Etihad Stadium and the academy

Manchester City FC has carried out a study of more than 30 elite sports development centres around the world over the past two years, which has provided the blueprint for the plans submitted.

The club added that the plans, together with its academy development plan, an 18 month research programme into youth development best practice, would signify the single most important investment in the club to date.

The club said around 160 construction jobs would be created during the project, 70% of them for local people. Permanent employment at a range of levels for up to 90 people is also likely with up to 80% of positions being made available for local residents. The club is also committed to local sourcing of materials, equipment and services for the operation and construction of the proposed site.

The club added that remediation of up to 80 acres of land alone would improve the local environment, which would be further enhanced by the planting several hundred new trees and almost a mile of yew and beech hedging around the perimeter of the site and all construction operations would be conducted under the highest possible environmental standards with low carbon, low water and low waste measures being employed to minimise impact on the environment and encourage local bio diversity.

The club said improved transport links, with the advent of two Metrolink tram stations due in 2012, together with the construction of a pedestrian footbridge will bring further regenerative benefits to the area.

Manchester City Football Club has also dedicated up to 5.5 acres of the 80-acre site to further community use, which, led by Manchester City Council and reflecting local feedback, could include the building of an education facility and a Sports Institute.

Manchester City Football Club will also make a financial contribution towards proposed leisure facilities in the area which could include the creation of a swimming pool and potential future educational facilities.

Brian Marwood, chief football operations officer of Manchester City Football Club, said: "It is important to also make clear that the development and recruitment of youth talent is at the heart of our long term strategy of building a successful and sustainable football club for the future. The opportunity to build a world class facility supported by a well researched youth development plan would be a significant step in the realisation of that strategy."

Sir Richard Leese, leader of Manchester City Council, added: "This would not just be about creating another world-class sporting facility in the area, it will also create jobs and other opportunities for local residents. It's one of the earliest manifestations of how the partnership between Manchester City Football Club, the Council and New East Manchester will deliver significant community and economic benefits in the years ahead."

The project team currently includes: Led by Pro Leisure; Rafael Vinoly Architects; BDP, Aedas; ASK Property Developments; Drivers Jonas Deloitte; CRE8; Christal Management; Aecom; Turner & Townsend; White Young Green; Capita Symonds Structures; Planit EDC; J Mallinson Ormskirk; Ekosgen; Weightmans; Schlaich Bergermann & Partners: the Restaurant & Catering Consultancy; and RWDI Anemos.

The planning application can now be viewed online at Manchester City Council's website or at the council's offices. The club's consultation exhibition with updated information and new designs reflecting the planning application is open to visitors Monday to Saturday, 9am-5.30pm, Sunday and Bank Holidays, 11am-5pm (closed match days). Or visit

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UPDATE: Adds gallery of new designs

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