Salford/Peel JV appoints director for rugby stadium

Salford City Council and Peel have appointed James Foley as director to drive forward the development of the new £26m stadium in Barton for Salford City Reds RFC.

The council said Foley will be responsible for its success, managing day-to-day operations, finances and overseeing a marketing strategy to promote the stadium as a world-class leisure and sporting venue.

Foley has 15 years experience in the leisure and events business and joins from his role as operations director for Link4Life, an organisation which provides a range of cultural services for Rochdale Council.

During his four years at Rochdale Council, Foley was responsible for a portfolio of 10 leisure and sports facilities across the town including leading a £35m capital investment programme and the opening of the Middleton Arena and Heywood Sports Village projects.

Foley said: "The stadium will be a magnificent landmark and focal point for the whole of the community of Salford and beyond. You can't help but notice it as it starts to dominate the skyline over Barton Bridge.

"I'm looking forward to the challenge of leading the development of the stadium and I hope to bring business expertise, ideas, contacts and a passion for developing relationships within the community and working closely with the management team at Salford City Reds."

Buckingham Group was appointed contactor for the construction of the 12,000-seat community stadium and started on site in December last year.

The joint venture company between Salford City Council and Peel is managing the stadium, with the rugby club having a licence to use it.

The stadium is due to open in time for the start of the 2012 Rugby League season and will provide sports, conference, banqueting, entertainment as well as community facilities for local people on 70 acres, next to Peel's Port Salford.

Foley said the coming months will see moves put in place to secure a series of community events in 2012. He added: "It will be an opportunity for the people of the city to visit the stadium and show their support in helping the stadium act as a catalyst in increasing participation, as we head towards the Olympics next year and the Rugby League World Cup in 2013."

Peter Hosker, city of Salford community stadium board member at Peel, said: "Anyone who has seen the stadium site over the last few months can see we are making good progress and we expect to complete towards the end of 2011."

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