New East Manchester Limited (NEM), Manchester City Council (MCC) and Manchester City Football Club are to step up consultation and engagement with the East Manchester community, as the working relationship between Club and Council was solidified yesterday.
The previous partnership arrangement, which began with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding in March of 2010, is to be formalised with the creation of a legally binding Joint Venture. The Eastlands Development Partnership, as the Joint Venture will be known, is the vehicle through which activity and development opportunities for land in and around the City of Manchester Stadium and its neighbouring communities, is delivered.
Further to this, the Eastlands Regeneration Framework document has been set out, which outlines the overarching vision for the development of land held by the parties, which when combined, totals approximately 200 acres.
In the short term, land already owned by Manchester City Football Club on the Openshaw West site will be the focus of exploratory remediation in the coming weeks and months. It is intended that the land in this area be made good in order that it becomes useable should the Club deem further development of football facilities on the site appropriate.
In addition to the Club’s review of potential football facilities, the partnership is gauging opportunities to expand community facilities. Such opportunities, on both the land under the Club’s ownership as well as on that across the broader 200 acre site, may include but are not limited to educational, recreational and swimming facilities which would form a part of the development of an Eastlands Community Sports Plan.
A period of significant community consultation will now begin to discuss possibilities for the area and to establish the wishes and needs of the local community.
Simon Bate, chairman of New East Manchester, said: “This is the latest milestone in the regeneration journey that east Manchester has been on for the past 15 years. We have already seen how the area has gone from having no economic future to one where public and private partners together have stabilised the area and put in place a proposal for economic growth.
"We now have a long-term plan which will act as a platform for our priorities and actions over the coming years, enabling businesses, local resident and visitors to benefit from future investment opportunities.”
Sir Richard Leese, leader of Manchester City Council, said: "This framework along with the partnership will drive progress over the next decade and will not just secure the economic success of the area, but also be a truly groundbreaking relationship setting the benchmark in the world of regeneration.
"Our joint partnership is progressive and maturing and our mutual commitment means that our shared vision for the area can become a reality that will create jobs, visitors and opportunities for residents of east Manchester."
Garry Cook, CEO of Manchester City FC added: “Manchester City is a Club at the heart of the city and at the heart of its community. It is therefore wholly appropriate to strengthen our links with the City Council, whilst at the same time reaching out to those in the community around us and establishing ways in which we can best serve them."
The development framework, which will be subject to formal consultation in May, can be read at: