A proposed masterplan for a ‘community campus' in East Manchester - creating sports and leisure facilities, educational opportunities and jobs – will be considered by senior councillors next week.
The Beswick Project Masterplan, which goes to Manchester City Council's Executive on Wednesday 12 September, is expected to create almost 200 jobs and attract an estimated 2,500 visitors a day to the area in Beswick and Openshaw West.
The draft masterplan aims to build on and continue the momentum established by recent investment in East Manchester including the Beswick Library and East Manchester Academy, new housing developments and the City Football Academy, Manchester City FC's new youth development complex and first team training facility. The Academy is due to open during 2014.
The project is led by Manchester City Council and supported by Manchester City Football Club and many other organisations.
Proposed elements include:
A new leisure centre with a public swimming pool and a multi-court space which could be used for a range of sports and community activities. This would be expected to attract up to 600 people a day, and create around 25 full and part-time jobs.
Connell Sixth Form College, a 600-place sixth form college for 16 to 19-year-olds, meeting growing demand for sixth form places in the area and providing community learning opportunities. Funding for the college, which will be run by the Bright Futures Education Trust, has been approved by the government and it is planned to take students from September 2013 before moving to a purpose-built facility in September 2014.
A sports research institute, a proposed world-class research and diagnostic facility supporting high performing athletes across a range of sports. Work carried out to date, led by the City Council, has highlighted that many academic, health and sports-related organisations based in the city see the benefits of such an institute. The proposal is backed by Manchester City FC, Sport England and other professional sports bodies.
Improved local shops.
Changes to the road layout, public realm and car parking infrastructure to improve road safety and join the different facilities into one 'campus' either side of Alan Turing Way at the junction with Grey Mare Lane.
Sir Richard Leese, leader of Manchester City Council, said: "The significance of this project in powering forward the regeneration of East Manchester should not be underestimated. We believe it will create a new centre of gravity for the area, providing new opportunities for education, leisure and jobs."
Deputy Council leader Councillor Jim Battle said: "These are exciting proposals from which the community will see real benefits. We look forward to sharing the details with residents and other interested parties."
Executive members will be asked to endorse the draft masterplan as the basis for a six-week consultation which will seek the views of East Manchester residents and other interested parties ahead. This consultation will help shape the final content of a planning application for the various elements to be submitted before the end of the year.
The consultation would begin on 17 September and run up to an including Saturday 27 October. It will help shape a final masterplan which will then guide the content of a planning application for the various elements of the project, such as the college and swimming pool, which will be submitted before the end of this year.