Bold-exciting vision to redevelop Old Trafford


Task force installed for new ManUnited Stadium Image: Coliseum GSVA

A joint task force has been created to explore options for regenerating the Old Trafford area of Greater Manchester (UK), with the development of a world-class football stadium at the heart of the project.

‘Manchester United’ stated that the ‘Old Trafford Regeneration Task Force’ will bring together the local leaders and the national experts to examine how stadium development can support renewal of an area of the City with rich industrial history and huge potential for the future, and deliver social and economic benefits for the entire region.

The Manchester United Football Club, commonly referred to as Man United, or simply United, is a professional football club based in Old Trafford, Greater Manchester, England (UK). The club competes in the Premier League, the top division in the English football league system, and the Old Trafford serves as their home ground.

The Old Trafford is a football stadium in Old Trafford, Greater Manchester, England (UK), and the home of Manchester United F.C. With a capacity of 74,310, it is the largest club football stadium in the United Kingdom and the 12th-largest in Europe.

‘Manchester United’ further stated that chaired by Lord Sebastian Coe, the former Chair of the organising committee for the 2012 London Olympics, the task force will assess the feasibility of a new stadium of national significance equipped to host international games and finals, as well as providing a modernized home for the Manchester United.

The other members will include Andy Burnham, Mayor of Greater Manchester, Sara Todd, Chief Executive of Trafford Council, and Gary Neville, former captain of Manchester United.

Working in synergy with the Trafford Council’s Trafford Wharfside Framework, the project aims to support revitalization of the area between Trafford Park and the banks of Salford Quays (a cultural, sporting and leisure destination in Salford, Greater Manchester, England), and support the ‘Levelling Up’ agenda to drive investment in the North of England.

The Trafford Council is the local authority of the Metropolitan Borough of Trafford in Greater Manchester, England (UK). It is a Metropolitan District Council, one of 10 in Greater Manchester and one of 36 in the Metropolitan counties of England, and provides the majority of local Government services in Trafford.

The Trafford Wharfside Development Framework is a 215-acre masterplan that aims to guide the future development of the Trafford Wharfside area. The framework was prepared by the Trafford Council in collaboration with partners such as Peel (British infrastructure and property investment business), Manchester United and the Salford City Council (the local authority for the City of Salford in Greater Manchester, England).

The ‘Levelling Up’ is a policy agenda in the United Kingdom that aims to improve businesses and regions, create jobs and support the communities. The policy was introduced in 2019 and includes over £48 billion of Government funding and billions more from businesses.

It would also reduce the over-concentration of major sporting venues and events in London and the South-East.

Asserted Lord Coe, “Throughout my career in sport, I have seen the potential for stadiums to become focal points for strong communities and catalysts for social and economic development. That was certainly true of the venues we built in East London for the 2012 Olympics, and we are overdue for a project of similar scale and ambition in the North of England. I am honored to have this opportunity to share my experience in support of this tremendously exciting project.”

Averred Andy Burnham, “The development of one of the most iconic stadiums in world football will help attract investment, create jobs and lead to new opportunities that will not just benefit Trafford but communities across our City-region and beyond. Greater Manchester has been a hive of innovation and creativity for centuries, and sport has played a huge role in shaping our past and the present. This bold and exciting vision for the future of Old Trafford and the surrounding area can become another success story for our City-region.”

Stated Sara Todd, “We are very pleased that the Manchester United has confirmed their commitment to remaining at the Old Trafford, their historic home, and welcome the prospect of renewed investment in the development of a world-class stadium. As plans for the stadium and the neighboring Trafford Wharfside area progress, we have a unique opportunity to truly transform the historic industrial ‘engine room’ of Greater Manchester into a modern hub for growth and a new community, and we want to build on the socio-economic benefits this will bring, particularly for the local residents. We are committed to working with the club, the local residents and the other key partners to develop these exciting and ambitious proposals.”

Shared Gary Neville, “I’m incredibly fortunate to have had the privilege of playing hundreds of games at the Old Trafford, and no one can take away those amazing memories. But the Old Trafford has evolved throughout its history and it’s clear we are at a point where it has to change again to ensure that the Manchester United has a world-class stadium befitting the world’s greatest club. While I want the best for the Manchester United, I also want the same for the surrounding community. The Old Trafford should be a stadium that the whole of Greater Manchester can take pride in, and be a catalyst for sustainable, cohesive growth in an area of the City that has been neglected for too long.”

Concluded Sir Jim Ratcliffe, Co-Owner of Manchester United, “This can be a major regeneration project for an area of Greater Manchester which has played such a key role in the British industrial history, but which today requires new investment to thrive again. The North-West of England has a greater concentration of major football clubs than anywhere else in the world, yet we don’t have a stadium on the scale of the 90,000-capacity Wembley Stadium in Wembley, England, the 99,354-capacity Spotify Camp Nou in Barcelona, Spain, or the 81,044-capacity Santiago Bernabéu Stadium in Madrid, Spain. We will not be able to change that on our own, which is why this task force is so important to help us seize this once-in-a-century opportunity.”

The other members of the task force include:

  • Duncan Drasdo, Member of the Manchester United Fans’ Advisory Board and Chief Executive of the Manchester United Supporters’ Trust;
  • Tom Ross, Leader of the Trafford Council;
  • Eamonn Boylan, Chief Executive of the Greater Manchester Combined Authority and Transport for Greater Manchester;
  • Anna Bensky, Associate Director of Peel Land;
  • Dame Nancy Rothwell, President and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Manchester; and
  • Malcolm Press, Vice-Chancellor of the Manchester Metropolitan University.

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