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Deal signed for £1 billion Manchester City scheme

Plans, understood to have been drawn up by BDP, for a gargantuan Las Vegas-style leisure complex next to the City of Manchester Stadium have taken a major step forward

Last week, Manchester City Football Club (MCFC) announced it had signed a deal with Manchester City Council and urban regeneration company New East Manchester to redevelop 200 acres of land around the club’s home as will as building a world class training facility nearby and extending the current 48,000-capacity of MCFC’s stadium to 60,000.

Although the proposals for the site of the scrapped supercasino have yet to be seen, it is understood they could include a Disneyland-like amusement park and a five-star hotel housed in a landmark tower.

There are also rumours of a plan is to create City Street, a market-style fan zone on Joe Mercer Way leading up to the stadium.

Talks began with the authorities shortly after the 2008 takeover of the football club by Abu Dhabi’s Sheikh Mansour, which made City the world’s richest football club overnight.

The three agents have formed a Joint Development Board.

Simon Bate, chairman of New East Manchester, said: ‘This agreement is truly pivotal for this area. It will gives us the chance to restore economic dynamism to east Manchester, enabling businesses, local residents and football supporters alike to benefit from future investment.’

Previous story (03.12.09)

Exclusive: BDP plans Vegas-style scheme for Manchester

BDP is understood to be behind plans to build a £500 million Las Vegas-of-the-north next to Manchester City’s Eastlands football ground

The top-secret proposals would see the Premiership club’s billionaire Arab owner Sheikh Mansour buy the stadium and the surrounding land to build a massive entertainment and leisure centre, which, according to sources, could include a theme park, luxury hotels and a casino.

The site had been earmarked for the country’s first super casino, designed by Ian Simpson Architects, but the proposals were scrapped in February 2008 in an early move by Gordon Brown after he became Prime Minister. It is believed that Simpson was also in the running for the new scheme.

Neither BDP nor the football club denied the story, however Manchester City Council told the AJ that ‘no discussions [had] taken place about these issues.’ 

The club has made no secret about its plans to expand the ground’s current 48,000 capacity to nearer 60,000.

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