Thursday, June 16, 2011

FC United hope to score with charm offensive for new ground in Moston

 Source: MEN

 Exclusive by Mike Keegan

 FC United have delivered 10,000 leaflets in their bid to win the hearts and minds of people living close to the site of their planned new stadium.

More than 40 volunteers from the club, who want to build a 5,000-capacity home on the Ronald Johnson playing fields in Moston, dropped the pamphlets off in the space of seven hours.

They targeted residents in the Moston, Charlestown and Harpurhey areas and are hoping the information contained on the four-page booklets will help to win objectors over.

A planning application for the £3.5m stadium, a mix of terraces and seating, will be lodged later this summer. Within the leaflet details of community facilities at the project, a partnership with Manchester council and current leaseholders Moston Juniors, are announced.

They include bingo nights, dinner dances and lunches for older people, education and employment services at the proposed venue.

Classrooms and IT facilities are also included in what FC bosses say will be ‘more than a football ground’.

General manager Andy Walsh said the drop was part of the club’s commitment to engage the local community.

He said: “As part of our pre-planning consultation we want to give residents as much information as possible about the proposals.

“We have had a very positive response from local people and we are continuing to discuss any remaining matters of concern that residents have.”

Manchester council identified the site, off St Mary’s Road, after plans for a new home for FC on Ten Acres Lane in Newton Heath collapsed.

The Rebels, formed as a co-operative in 2005 in protest at the Glazer family’s ownership of Manchester United, are currently in English football’s seventh tier. They play home matches at Bury’s Gigg Lane ground but want a permanent base in the city. Crowds average just above the 2,000 mark.

The club have also arranged a number of drop in sessions which take place from 6pm until 8pm. The first is at Moston Methodist Church on 21 June, followed by Moston Labour Club on 22 June, North City Library on June 29 and the Miners Community & Arts Centre on June 30.