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Manchester City owners in £1bn regeneration project

Words: Sam Waddicor

Six thousand new homes could be built close to Manchester City’s Etihad Stadium in a deal with the club’s owners worth £1bn.

The development, a joint venture between the Abu Dhabi United Group (ADUG) and Manchester City council, aims to spark demand for further leisure and retail developments to create local jobs, rather than being a part of initial plans.

The first phase of a 10-year agreement would see 830 privately rented homes built in the Ancoats and New Islington areas of east Manchester. Work will begin on the project area in 2015, pending planning permission. Manchester City have already announced plans to increase their stadium capacity from 47,670 to 62,170.

The ADUG board director, Marty Edelman, said: “ADUG, through Manchester City Football Club, has come to know Manchester City Council’s vision for regeneration and its ability to deliver major initiatives effectively.

“Given Abu Dhabi United Group’s existing long-term commitment to Manchester and the council’s economic growth plan, it was a logical decision to look at ways to create a commercial partnership with the city to deliver its wider residential strategy. We are effectively investing in the opportunities and positive circumstances created by our joint investments to date.

“We are extremely proud of the resulting Manchester Life joint initiative that will complete the transformation of the Ancoats and New Islington areas,” he added.

Significant investment

This is a continuation of the investment into the Eastlands area that began in the 1990s and continued through Manchester’s failed bid to host the 2000 Olympic games. The transformation was really kick-started, however, with the successful bid for the 2002 Commonwealth Games.

Sir Richard Leese, leader of Manchester City Council, said: "Today’s announcement adds another commercial dimension to the already significant investment made by Manchester City Council and ADUG in East Manchester, and in doing so progresses the regeneration story which began in the 1990s and was accelerated by the 2002 Commonwealth Games and ADUG’s recent development of the Etihad Campus.

"The planned transformation of the eastern edge of the City Centre is the single biggest residential investment Manchester has seen for a generation. Building thousands of quality new homes will be a fundamental part of our growth story and will deliver significant socioeconomic impact. We look forward to working with Abu Dhabi United Group to create a world class exemplar of regeneration."