Manchester City Council

Jobs for East Manchester

A sunny day weather-wise but gloom in East Manchester! Today Culture Secretary Andy Burnham tells parliament that he is putting the block on the regional casino - the prize that we won after a Government competition and that is due to bring us over three thousand jobs in East Manchester. This has been rumoured in the press for months but now it's official. My job, the job of the Council, is to do all we can to look after the interests of our citizens and so now we are scrutinising his announcement in detail and reviewing our options.

Of course, I am disappointed and angry. We have overwhelming evidence that a regional casino provides better regeneration benefits for East Manchester than any alternative.  A regional casino would deliver not just new jobs but also an increase in Manchester's GVA equivalent to £1 billion over 10 years. East Manchester needs jobs and I have no intention of giving up on making sure they get them.

In addition, we have put irrefutable evidence to the Government that demonstrates a regional casino in a properly regulated environment can not only bring major benefits to an area like East Manchester, but carries very little risk of increasing problem gambling unlike the harm caused by other unregulated forms of gambling such as on the internet.

Manchester's key regeneration objectives remain to bring jobs to deprived communities and to get local people into those jobs. Even a casino would not have brought all the jobs we need so I will work with government ministers on additional ways to achieve our regeneration objectives for the city as a whole and East Manchester in particular, but what are currently warm words from government need to be turned into firm commitments very quickly.

We will do all we can, and have already put forward a range of schemes that would bring jobs to benefit local people in East Manchester. These include extending the life of New East Manchester till 2014/15 with an associated budget of £20 million per year; developments at Sportcity including an Olympic standard national BMX centre, digital developments in East Manchester based on Next Generation connectivity, a national skills centre for Hospitality and Facilities Management, a digital and animation business cluster with associated skill centre, and also the relocation of Government functions, including hundreds of jobs for local people. Combined together these would deliver more than three thousand jobs and the ball is firmly in national government's court to make sure these are delivered. Promises aren't good enough.

There are 7 responses to “Jobs for East Manchester”

  1. Mark Richardson Says:

    A truly depressing day. The jobs created by a casino would have been very good news for Eastlands and our economy. I'm bitterly disappointed that a change of Prime Minister appears to have scuppered the plans although I've heard (Newsnight)that the Government is going to offer more regeneration opportunities for East Manchester. I wondered if the council had any news regarding these reports on national TV?

  2. Mike Carmody Says:

    Mark, we made the same points to Andy Burnham when he visited East Manchester earlier this week. East Manchester needs jobs and long term investment. We are angry that the Government has, so far, failed to produce a single alternative suggestion to the casino and we are urging them to come up with a solution to this issue.
    Cllr. Mike Carmody, Ancoats & Clayton ward

  3. Christine Carroll Says:

    I agree with Mark Richardson, the people of East Manchester feel badly let down. In the summer the Prime Minister promised to find alternative regeneration proposals. We are still waiting to see them.

    Cllr. Christine Carroll, Miles Platting & Newton Heath ward.

  4. Elaine Wright MBE Says:

    As a local resident who has been working on every aspect of making East Manchester a better place to live, and can I say how things are 100% better, the iceing on the cake would have been to have the casino built along side sportcity. No one thought we stood a chance but we did and we won. The Prime Minister should Honour that decision

  5. jane rattenbury Says:

    For goodness sake, let us face reality. manchester never should have been awarded the casino, it was not the place for it. Any jobs would have been low paid and an increase in organised crime and prostitution would certainly have been a consequence. Yes the Government should be funding sensible alternative employment opportunities buy nobody with any sense would welcome a supercasino to East manchester.

  6. Eddie Smith Says:

    I write in my capacity as Chief Executive of New East Manchester Ltd, the Urban Regeneration Company with responsibility for the regeneration of East Manchester, in response to the comments made by Jane Rattenbury.

    East Manchester was the favoured location by New East Manchester Ltd and the City Council for the siting of the Regional Casino. Securing such a facility in East Manchester would have provided a significant economic boost to the East Manchester economy, the Manchester economy and indeed the North West economy. Critically it would have provided local residents with access to a significant new local employment opportunity that would have provided 3000 jobs at a range of salary levels with good on the job training opportunities to enable employees to progress within the hospitality industry. All of these economic benefits would have been provided without any cost to the tax-payer. Our plans for the casino anticipated the need to put in place actions to ensure that the operation of the casino set the highest standards in terms of addressing issues of criminal activity and its impact on the local area.

    The decision to withdraw Manchester's right to license for a Regional Casino is ultimately one for politicans but the loss of the opportunity to secure a significant boost to the East Manchester economy demands that the Government puts back what it is taking away - 3000 jobs that are accessible to local residents.

  7. M C Spanner Says:

    It's July 2008. Still nothing on offer to Replace the Casino.......

 

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The blog of the leader of Manchester City Council, Councillor Richard Leese.

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