Manchester City Football Club and Vinoly Architects submitted a planning application to Manchester City Council yesterday for a new Training Academy. Positioned on 80 acres of brownfield and industrial land, the scheme looks to put MCFC at the centre of English Football development.
The site will include 14 full size training pitches and a new 7,000 seated stadium for the youth teams. They have also allocated upto 5.5 acres for community lead schemes, including the possibility of an education facility.
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The vast cash injection and sudden growth happening over at the Etihad stadium is the start of something big in the East of Manchester. Over the decades as Salford has flourished into a secondary centre of Manchester in the west, it appears that now is the time for the east to finally succeed and expand, competing with the city centre and Salford as a destination.
As Alsops master plan in Ancoats still seeks it's success you wonder whether the expansion at MCFC will help sandwich it in, positioning it within the centre, rather than the edge where it currently sits. There is also the very quiet BDP Master plan for the further context in and around the stadium. Their scheme is still to be seen but the massive overhaul of a leisure lead development can only change the future urban grain of the city.
Can a city work well with 3 key destinations, or will they begin to merge, blurring the lines between the areas, expanding what is deemed the "centre", and becoming the catalyst that turns Manchester into the city of Greater Manchester, a new Mega-City. Built to rival that of London and Paris, even as far as New York. The city of the future.