|The Etihad Campus|
|Location||Clayton, Greater Manchester|
|Owner||Manchester City F.C.|
|Type||Sports, community, leisure|
|Built||2012–13 (10 year development)|
|Opened||2014 (training and community facility)
2015/16 (stadium expansion)
2018 (Collar site development)
The Etihad Campus is an area of Sportcity, Manchester which is operated by Manchester City F.C. The Campus includes the City of Manchester Stadium and the surrounding land and the Clayton Aniline site which will be home to the new Manchester City F.C. training facility. The two sites will be linked by a 60-metre landmark bridge.
Phase 1 will focus on the regeneration of Clayton Aniline site which has 80 acres of land. Phase 1 will include the construction of the Manchester City training facility which will be completed by summer 2014. Adjacent to the facility is the Connell Sixth Form College - named after Anna Connell, the founder of St Mark's Gorton which later became Manchester City Football Club - and East Manchester community hub, partly funded by Manchester City F.C. and Manchester City Council.
The transformation of East Manchester forms a key part of Manchester's core strategy from 2012 to 2027, and the scheme is part of Manchester City's desire to have a home-grown squad by 2027. It is anticipated stadium expansion to 62,000 and the development of a large leisure complex - as of yet unknown - of national significance will be developed in the coming years.
East Manchester has historically been used for industrial use. The site which the Etihad Stadium sits on was contaminated for the construction, and so a non-occupied use was required. Areas east of the city have undergone privately funded regeneration, such as the New Islington project by developers, Urban Splash and the NOMA scheme east of Manchester city centre - but the area has remnants of industrial usage and land is often brownfield. The site on which the new training and community facility will be situated was previously home to Clayton Aniline Company, a company which produced dyestuffs. The firm disbanded in 2004 leaving the Clayton Aniline site derelict.
Since being taken over in 2008, the club have embarked on a large spending spree to reach the pinnacle of English football. In 2011, the club won the FA Cup - ending the club's 35 year trophy drought - and then won the Premier League in 2012. The investment has come at a cost, with the club spending a net-£330 million on infrastructure, debt and transfers. The club hope prize money (from the Champions League particularly), increased commercial revenue and ticket sales will turn the club into a profit-making entity which provides a return on investment. As early as September 5, 2008, just days after the takeover the new owners were reported to be exploring the possible expansion around the stadium.
In July 2011, it was announced the area where the developments will be built will be called the Etihad Campus. In return Etihad Airways will pay sponsorship to Manchester City F.C. for ten years. In return to Manchester City Council who own the stadium, Etihad will create a British hub for Etihad Airways at Manchester Airport (majority owned by Manchester City Council) creating further jobs and helping to fuel the £600m Manchester Airport City development.
The initial plans released in September 2011 generated over 7000 responses from local residents, in person and online. The plans were met with a 97% approval rating from respondents. The plans were enthusiastically backed in December 2011 by Manchester City Council, and approved by the government in August 2012.
Phase 1 - Training and community facilities (2014)
The club is currently planning to move from its current Carrington Training Centre complex to east Manchester nearby the City of Manchester Stadium. The new training complex will be based on AC Milan's Milanello training complex, which is recognised to be one of top training complexes in world football.
Construction contract was signed on 14 September 2012 with construction of the facility to begin immediately. Employing local people, procuring building materials from regional companies in the North West England and the addition of over 6000 new trees in east Manchester are centrepieces of the community and environmental benefits of the development.
Phase 2 - Stadium expansion (2014-15)
Phase 2 will consist of stadium capacity expansion. Premier League and Champions League matches are popular at Manchester City, with every home match during the 2011-12 sold out except a match against Stoke City. Feasibility studies conducted in 2011 showed that 2,000 more seats could be added to 49,805 without any change to the stadium structure. The most ambitious plan would be removing the whole roof off, adding another tier bringing the capacity in excess of 70,000 and adding a new dynamic roof structure.
Phase 3 - Leisure attraction
Phase 3 will focus on developing the land immediately adjacent to the Etihad Stadium. The adjoining land around the stadium is frequently called the 'Collar Site'. This site was the selected location over sites in London and Blackpool for the Supercasino in 2007 - but the proposal was later abandoned amid controversy over the regeneration benefits. The 'Collar Site' is situated on what was once Bradford Colliery. Remediation work to cap disused mine shafts was completed in 2011 so that the site could used for property development. Manchester City Council conveyed their desire in 2010 to have a destination leisure and tourism attraction of 'national significance'.
To match demand for a 365-day attraction, a 60,000 larger stadium, more non-footballing events and revitalised economical activity in east Manchester - Manchester City Council have considered opening a station on the railway line next the Regional Athletics Arena to provide further capacity. A new Eastlands Railway Station would sit on the Ashton, Stalybridge and Liverpool Junction Railway - a short line linking Ardwick to Miles Platting. The line is still used by freight but not by passenger services which stopped such services in 1995.
The line would have national connections and link the Etihad Campus to Manchester Victoria and Manchester Piccadilly if the southern junction was rebuilt. A new Eastlands Railway station was discussed as part of the Northern Hub phase 2 plan in June 2010.
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