Friday, September 10, 2010

FC United submits Newton Heath plans

 Source: Place North West

 10 Sep 2010, 09:29
 Michael Hunt

 FC United of Manchester, the supporter-owned club set up in 2005 when the Glazer family took control of MUFC, is submitting its proposals for a new ground and community sports development to be built in Newton Heath, east Manchester, today.

Andy Walsh, club general manager, told Place: "We're submitting the planning application to Manchester City Council which includes plans for a 5,000-capacity stadium of which 750 will be seated and the rest standing.

"We've carried out consultations during the design stages and 1,000 people attended an open day to put forward their views. We're satisfied we're going to meet all requirements."

FC United plans to develop a football ground and proposes new and renovated community sports facilities and a multi-function community space on the existing site of the Ten Acres Lane sports centre, which is owned by Manchester City Council and actually covers 6.3 acres.

Walsh said progress is going well with fundraising to deliver the £3.5m development and is hopeful of gaining £1.5m through grant funding. FC United is targeting £2m to be raised through cash donations and a community share scheme.

Walsh added: "Our target for fundraising is £500,000 and we are fast approaching £300,000 which we expect to reach in the next few days. The community share offer document is due to go out later this month."

"The planning committee will discuss our application at its meeting on 25 November."

Urban regeneration company New East Manchester and Manchester City Council have been working with FC United for the past two years to develop the plans.

In July, FC United selected a design team consisting of Preston and Manchester-based Frank Whittle Partnerships, as project managers, West Didsbury-based Ludlam Associates, as planning consultants, and Handforth-based Taylor Young, as architects, to take proposals to the planning stage.

The rest of the design team includes structural engineers Ian Scott-Hughes, highways consultants AECOM, M&E consultants Beverly Clifton Morris, and environmental consultants TEP.

FC United is being provided with legal support and advice from Cobbetts LLP and RSM Tenon act as the club's financial advisors.

FC United hopes the development will be completed within the next two to three years if planning is approved and funding is secured and subject to consultation. The club said appointment of building contractors will follow the planning application stage.

FC United finished in eighth position in the Northern Premier League Premier Division last season, which is six divisions below the more lucrative Premier League.

The club currently plays home matches at Bury's Gigg Lane.