Etihad Campus

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Etihad Campus
Location Beswick and Clayton, Greater Manchester
Coordinates 53°28′48″N 02°11′21″W / 53.48000°N 2.18917°W / 53.48000; -2.18917Coordinates: 53°28′48″N 02°11′21″W / 53.48000°N 2.18917°W / 53.48000; -2.18917
Owner Manchester City F.C.
Type Sports, community, leisure
Built 2012–15 (10 year development)
Opened 2013 (Metrolink stations)
- 2013 (Etihad Campus)
- 2013 (Velopark)

2014 (City Football Academy)
2013/17 (Beswick Community Hub)
- 2013 (Connell Sixth Form College)
- 2014 (Beswick Leisure Centre)
- 2016 (Inst.of Health & Performance)
- 2017 (office & retail development)

2015/16 (Etihad Stadium expansion)
- 2015 (South Stand and pitch side)
- 2016 (North Stand)

2018 ('Collar site' development)

The Etihad Campus is an area of Sportcity, Manchester which is mostly owned and operated by Manchester City Football Club. The campus includes the Etihad Stadium, the City Football Academy (CFA) training facility and club world headquarters,[1] and undeveloped land adjacent to both of these facilities. These two main portions of the campus site are linked by a 60-metre landmark pedestrian walkway/footbridge that spans the junction of Alan Turing Way and Ashton New Road. The term "Etihad Campus" embraces both the stadium - which already existed when the name was coined in 2010 - as well as much of the surrounding undeveloped land that existed at that time, although the term is also frequently used as a direct synonym for just the CFA portion[2] of the entire planned campus.

The development of the southeastern portion of the Etihad Campus site is focused on the regeneration of the Clayton Aniline site which consists of 80 acres of Brownfield land. The initial phase of the campus development included the construction of the new Manchester City training facility which was completed and officially opened in December 2014.[3][4] Adjacent to the CFA 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 - which forms part of the Beswick Community Hub.[5] The construction of the college was jointly funded by Manchester City F.C. and Manchester City Council and it opened to receive its first students in August 2013.[6]

The Beswick Community Hub is being developed on 16 acres of the 80 acre site originally purchased by the football club in order to develop its CFA facility,[7] but like the footbridge linking the CFA to the Etihad Stadium,[8] the club has donated this portion of its land purchase back to the local community so that it can be jointly developed with Manchester City Council to form a southern gateway approach to the completed Etihad Campus. Also part of the jointly funded and developed Beswick Community Hub, located across from it on the western side of Alan Turing Way, is the new Beswick Leisure Centre. The construction of the leisure center is also complete and it opened to the public in October 2014.[9]

Two further pieces of the jointly funded and developed community hub will be the Manchester Institute of Health and Performance (MIHP),[10] currently under construction and for which the official opening is scheduled for early 2016,[11] and beyond the completion of the MIHP there are plans to develop commercial office space, shops and retail opportunities on the northwestern side of the hub.[7]

The transformation of East Manchester forms a key part of the city's core development strategy for the Manchester region from 2012 to 2027,[12] and likewise the scheme forms an integral part of Manchester City's aim to develop a homegrown squad by 2027,[13] as well as the club's goal of increasing the seating capacity of the Etihad Stadium to keep pace with the burgeoning demand of its growing local fan base. It is anticipated that the stadium's second phase of expansion to around 61,000 will complete within the next year or so.


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.[14]

In July 2011, it was announced the area where the developments will be built will be called the Etihad Campus.[15] 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.[15][16]

Proposed Development[edit]

The derelict Clayton Aniline site in 2010. The site will be home to the new Manchester City training and community facility.
The opening of Manchester City's new training facility at the Etihad Campus in December 2014.

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,[17] and approved by the government in August 2012.[18]

Phase 1 - City Football Academy (2014)[edit]

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,[19] which is recognised to be one of top training complexes in world football.[19]

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.[20][21]

Phase 2 - Stadium expansion (2014-15)[edit]

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.[22]

Phase 3 - Leisure attraction[edit]

Empty land surrounding the stadium has been envisaged for development since 2002.

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.[23] 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.[24] Manchester City Council conveyed their desire in 2010 to have a destination leisure and tourism attraction of 'national significance'.[25]



The Campus is served by the Etihad Campus Metrolink station and Velopark Metrolink station which opened in February 2013.[26]


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.[27]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "City Football Academy: Fly-through". MCFC media release web video on YouTube. Manchester City Football Club & Rafael Viñoly Architects. 14 September 2012. Retrieved 4 June 2015. 
  2. ^ "City Football Academy: History". MCFC OWS. Manchester City F.C. 8 December 2014. Retrieved 4 June 2015. 
  3. ^ "Premier League: Chancellor George Osbourne opens Manchester City Academy". (Isleworth: Sky plc). 8 December 2014. Retrieved 4 June 2015. 
  4. ^ "City Football Academy Opens". MCFC media release web video on YouTube. Manchester City Football Club. 8 December 2014. Retrieved 4 June 2015. 
  5. ^ "Beswick Community Hub" (PDF). 2013. Retrieved 4 June 2015. 
  6. ^ Fitzgerald, Todd (20 January 2015). "'Manchester City' college has students achieving their goals and heading for top of the table". Manchester Evening News (Manchester: M.E.N. Media). Retrieved 4 June 2015. 
  7. ^ a b "Beswick Hub: Our Mission". MCFC OWS. Manchester City Football Club. Retrieved 5 June 2015. the Club felt it was important to donate 16 of the site’s 80 acres for further community use. 
  8. ^ "Official opening of the community bridge connecting the Etihad Stadium to the soon-to-be-opened City Football Academy.". MCFC OWS. Manchester City F.C. 26 November 2014. Retrieved 4 June 2015. 
  9. ^ Williams, Jennifer (31 October 2014). "Beswick's new £9m leisure centre makes a splash as it opens its doors to the public". Manchester Evening News (Manchester: M.E.N. Media). Retrieved 4 June 2015. 
  10. ^ Williams, Jennifer (5 February 2015). "New £18m sports science institute at Manchester City's Etihad complex is given go-ahead". Manchester Evening News (Manchester: M.E.N. Media). Retrieved 4 June 2015. 
  11. ^ "Sports science and medicine institute takes Beswick Hub into pioneering second phase". Manchester: Manchester City Council. 5 February 2015. Retrieved 5 June 2015. MIHP is scheduled to open in early 2016. 
  12. ^ "Manchester Core Strategy Development Plan Document" (PDF). Manchester City Council. 11 July 2012. 
  13. ^ Linton, Deborah (2 May 2012). "Revealed: Manchester City plans to create home-grown stars as part of £170m Football Academy plan". Manchester Evening News. Retrieved 2012-06-25. 
  14. ^ Spencer, Peter (5 September 2008). "£300m bonanza for 'Middle Eastlands'". Manchester Evening News. Retrieved 2012-09-15. 
  15. ^ a b Oscroft, Tim (8 July 2011). "City and Etihad announce 10 year partnership". Manchester City F.C. Retrieved 9 July 2011. 
  16. ^ "£600m Airport City plan set for take off in Manchester". BBC News. 10 April 2011. Retrieved 2011-10-16. 
  17. ^ "Manchester City's Etihad Academy plan approved by council". BBC News. 22 December 2011. Retrieved 2012-06-13. 
  18. ^ "Manchester City's academy expansion gets go-ahead". BBC News. 13 August 2012. Retrieved 2012-09-15. 
  19. ^ a b Smith, Ben (12 March 2010). "Manchester City agree £1 billion stadium development deal". London: Retrieved 8 September 2010. 
  20. ^ "CFA: Local people at heart of new phase". MCFC. 14 September 2012. Retrieved 2012-09-17. 
  21. ^ "CFA: Construction will provide jobs for local people". Manchester City F.C. 14 September 2012. Retrieved 2012-09-17. 
  22. ^ "Manchester City plan for bigger stadium". The Telegraph. 15 September 2012. Retrieved 2012-09-15. 
  23. ^ "Brown ditches super-casino plan". BBC News. 15 September 2012. Retrieved 2012-09-15. 
  24. ^ "Eastlands remediation work finished". Manchester Confidential. 30 March 2011. Retrieved 2012-09-18. 
  25. ^ "Manchester City Council - Report For Resolution" (PDF). Manchester City Council. 23 June 2010. p. 13. Retrieved 2012-09-18. 
  26. ^ "Metrolink from Manchester to Droylsden opens following delays". BBC Sport. 2013-05-25. Retrieved 2013-05-25. 
  27. ^ "Northern Way: Manchester Hub" (PDF). Northern Way. 11 June 2010. Retrieved 2013-05-25.