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Design & Development

United names taskforce to oversee stadium redevelopment

Featured image credit: Thomas Foster on Unsplash

Sebastian Coe, Andy Burnham and Gary Neville will form part of a taskforce created by Manchester United to explore options for the redevelopment of Old Trafford.  

Lord Coe, who chaired the organising committee for the London 2012 Olympics and now serves as president of World Athletics, will chair the taskforce.

Other members will include Burnham, the Mayor of Greater Manchester; former United player Neville; Trafford Council chief executive Sara Todd; Trafford Council leader Tom Ross; Manchester United Supporters’ Trust chief executive Duncan Drasdo; and Peel Land associate director Anna Bensky.

The taskforce will be completed by Eamonn Boylan, chief executive of Greater Manchester Combined Authority and Transport for Greater Manchester; Dame Nancy Rothwell, president and vice-chancellor of the University of Manchester; and Malcolm Press, vice-chancellor of Manchester Metropolitan University.

The taskforce will oversee options for the regeneration of the Old Trafford area of Greater Manchester, with the development of a “world-class” football stadium at the heart of the project.

The taskforce will examine how stadium development can support renewal of the area and deliver social and economic benefits for the entire region. United said the taskforce will assess the feasibility of a new stadium of “national significance” that is equipped to host international games and finals, as well as providing a modernised home for the club.

The project aims to support revitalisation of the area between Trafford Park and the banks of Salford Quays and will tie in with Trafford Council’s Trafford Wharfside Framework. Last month, Trafford Council approved the first stage of ambitious plans to regenerate a huge area encompassing Old Trafford, but said the club would need to bear responsibility for financing its stadium vision.

The announcement came after United had earlier welcomed Trafford Council’s plans to regenerate the area around the stadium. Trafford Council plans on redeveloping the Trafford Wharfside area over the next 15 years.

British billionaire Sir Jim Ratcliffe and Ineos, the petrochemicals company he founded and chairs, completed their deal for a minority stake in United on February 20, with the closure of the agreement allowing plans to advance for Old Trafford.

Following the completion of the deal, Ratcliffe expressed his desire to build a new state-of-the-art stadium for United, stating it was “time someone built a national stadium in the north of England”.

United has reiterated that a new stadium would reduce the “over-concentration” of major sporting venues and events in London and the south-east.

Lord Coe said: “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 a project of similar scale and ambition in the north of England. I am honoured to have this opportunity to share my experience in support of this tremendously exciting project.”

Burnham added: “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 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.”

In April 2022, United appointed Legends International and Populous to lead a team tasked with creating a masterplan for the redevelopment of Old Trafford.