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£300m upgrade of Ethiad Stadium to make it ‘best in world’ set for approval

The £300m expansion of the Etihad Stadium which would increase its capacity to almost 62,000 seats and create a new fan zone could be given the green light next week.

Manchester Council’s planning committee has been recommended to approve the plans at a meeting on Thursday (July 27).

The plans to extend the north stand include building a 400-bed hotel, TV studio and roof walk attraction as well as a fan zone for up to 3,000 people.

Ethiad to be ‘best-in-class fan experience’

Manchester City says its aim is to create a ‘best-in-class fan experience’ and turn the stadium into a ‘year-round entertainment and leisure destination’.

Planning permission was granted to expand the Etihad Stadium in 2014, but only the south stand was extended at the time.

Town hall planners have now backed the latest application ahead of a final vote by councillors next week.

A 95-page report to the committee concludes that the proposal should be approved.

Regenerating the East Manchester Area

It says: “The [Etihad] campus’s international profile for sporting events, would be enhanced by these facilities and further drive forward the regeneration of East Manchester bringing jobs and economic growth to the area.”

Under the plans, the north stand’s capacity would be increased by 7,900 seats taking the total capacity to 61,968.

The current club shop would be knocked down and an eight-storey building with a new store, ticket office and museum would be created offering an ‘interactive visitor experience venue’ on level 3.

The upper floors would be used as workspace for small businesses and start-ups.

A nine-storey hotel with 391 bedrooms and 10 suites would also be built.

A refreshed City Square

Between the hotel and club shop building, City Square would be ‘refreshed’ to create a new covered fan zone and event space with a 3,000-person capacity.

According to the report, the club has also agreed to sign a deal which would allow parts of the campus to be used by the community including local clubs and schools.

A local labour deal also features in the Section 106 agreement.

The club would also pay for measures to improve ‘movement’ around the various venues, particularly for pedestrians.

A waste management agreement also aims to address litter and rubbish created at football matches and events.

Three letters of support have been received in relation to the application alongside five objections.

The objections raise concerns about the design, specifically of the hotel, and the impact of the plans on the local community.

The planning committee will decide the outcome on Thursday (July 27).

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