Thursday, March 25, 2010

FC United to move from Bury

Source: Bury Times

9:59am Thursday 25th March 2010

FANS-owned club FC United of Manchester have announced plans to move away from Bury This morning, club officials revealed a proposal for the Red Rebels to build a 5,000-capacity stadium in Newton Heath - the birthplace of FC United's "sister" club Manchester United.

FC United must now raise the £3.5 million needed for the project and gain planning permission from Manchester City Council.

They have not yet revealed a timescale for the scheme, so there is no date set yet for when the club will leave Gigg Lane.

Club general manager Andy Walsh said: “The announcement will be a big boost to the club and we also want the development to be of benefit to Newton Heath.

"The discussions with the council have been very positive and we are grateful for their support.

"The significance of this location is historical while it will also showcase a new model of facility development, based on football supporter ownership and community involvement.”

Manchester City Council’s leisure councillor, 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 an iconic supporter-owned club to Manchester.”

Since forming in July 2005, FC have had a rental agreement in place with Bury FC to pay the vast majority of their home games there.

The contract is worth more than £150,000 a year to the Shakers, though some of their fans have voiced concerns the quality of the Gigg Lane surface has suffered in the last few years due to an increase in the amount of matches played on it.

Businesses near to Gigg Lane, like the Pack Horse Hotel, have seen a boost in trade since United began playing there.