Trafford plans £35m home for Manchester Giants in Urmston

Trafford Council leader Sean Anstee has revealed proposals for a £35m redevelopment of the George H Carnall leisure centre in Urmston, including a new 2,000-capacity arena for basketball team Manchester Giants.

The future of the building had been in doubt following the grant of funding for refreshed leisure centre facilities in the town, which include an extensive overhaul of its existing 1990s leisure centre.

However, Anstee outlined early-stage proposals for the redevelopment of George H Carnall at a council meeting on Wednesday, and said there was “a phenomenal opportunity” to expand “under-utilised and ageing” site into a health, sport, and wellbeing hub.

This will include a new health centre; around 60 affordable homes for key workers including nurses, social workers, teachers, and police officers; and a new home for the Manchester Giants basketball team.

Existing facilities will be expanded and renovated to provide a 2,000-capacity sports and events facility, alongside a club office, shop, community facilities, and café.

The team currently plays at the Trafford Powerleague Sportsdome, and expects to move in to its new facility in time for the 2019/20 season.

John Dwan, Manchester Giants chief executive, said: “It has been a priority for us to find a long term venue that can house and develop our club, not just the elite BBL Basketball team, but also our junior basketball and netball teams, as well as our fast growing community programmes.

“After fruitless discussions with other venues in recent years securing our own sustainable and affordable facility is a major step forward for the club.”

The club has appointed investor and developer Equity Solutions Group to help bring forward the proposals.

Anstee said: “At George H Carnall we have worked really hard with key partners to come up with an innovative and exciting opportunity that will complement the refurbished Urmston Leisure Centre.

“We’re absolutely delighted therefore to be able to announce that the Manchester Giants will be making this site their home, and bringing with them their great track record of engaging with schools and the wider community alongside affordable residential homes and health hub.

“Taken together, these two opportunities represent an investment in excess of £45m in the local M41 community. This is a great example of public sector funding attracting significant private sector investment.

“We believe both developments will provide a great mix of facilities to help improve health and wellbeing among our residents.”

The proposals follow the planned redevelopment of Urmston’s 1990s leisure centre, which will be carried out by Willmott Dixon.

The project, designed by architect 5plus, will be discussed at the council’s planning committee next week, with a recommendation to approve. Additions to the original building include a café, three studios, a party room, fitness suite, and changing facilities.

At Wednesday’s council meeting, Anstee added proposals for other leisure centres in the borough, including Altrincham and Sale, would be presented “in due course”.

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