Thursday, March 25, 2010

FC United plans new stadium in Newton Heath

Source: Crain's Manchester Business

11:43 am, March 25, 2010

By Simon Binns

Unibond Premier Division club FC United of Manchester is looking to develop its own 5,000-capacity stadium at Newton Heath in north Manchester.

The supporter-owned club, established in May 2005, is proposing to redevelop the existing Ten Acres Lane sports centre, which is owned by Manchester City Council. The club currently plays its games at Bury FC’s Gigg Lane stadium.

The club, the council and regeneration company New East Manchester have been developing plans during the last two years and consultation with local residents and club members is expected to begin shortly.

The club said it was trying to secure funding for the £3.5m development, through a public appeal for donations, a Community Shares issue and grant funding, and hopes the development will be completed in the next two or three years.

Andy Walsh, general manager at the club, said: “The development will showcase a new model of facility development, based on football supporter ownership and community involvement.”

Manchester City Council’s executive member for leisure, Cllr Mike Amesbury, said: “We have been supportive of this development to date and we are pleased to now take it to the next stage. While there is a way to go yet we feel that this will have significant local community benefits and bring a supporter-owned club to Manchester.”

Eddie Smith, chief executive of New East Manchester, said: "We are working closely with FC United to help achieve their aspirations of acquiring land in Newton Heath for a new football ground. This is still very early stages but we are supportive of their proposals which would bring further regeneration benefits to east Manchester."