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Design & Development

Old Trafford Regeneration Task Force stages first meeting

Featured image credit: Seb Coe

The Old Trafford Regeneration Task Force has held its inaugural meeting as talks continue over Manchester United’s long-term stadium future.

The Premier League club announced last month that Sebastian Coe, Andy Burnham and Gary Neville would form part of a taskforce created by 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, is chair of the taskforce.

Other members 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 was formed to 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 is due to examine how stadium development can support renewal of the area and deliver social and economic benefits for the entire region. United said the taskforce would 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.

Coe has now announced that the group’s first meeting was held on Monday. He said on Twitter/X: “Yesterday (Monday), I chaired the first meeting of the Old Trafford Regeneration Task Force to kick off a conversation about how development of a world-class football stadium for the north of England can deliver social and economic benefits for the region.

“At the London 2012 Olympics, I saw first-hand how sport can be a powerful driver of urban regeneration and I am excited to be part of this project. This meeting marked the start of a multi-stakeholder process to explore options for the stadium and surrounding area.

“We are at the start of this journey, and it is too soon to know where it will lead. But we will consult closely with fans and local residents along the way, and keep everyone informed of progress.”

United shareholder, Sir Jim Ratcliffe, last month set out his vision for a 100,000-capacity stadium for the club that would rival the revamped Estadio Santiago Bernabéu and Spotify Camp Nou. Ratcliffe, and the Ineos petrochemicals company he founded and chairs, in February completed their deal for a minority stake in United, with the closure of the agreement allowing stadium plans to advance.

The British billionaire, a boyhood United fan, has since been vocal over his vision for United’s stadium infrastructure, in particular the potential to develop a “Wembley of the North” for the club.

The wider 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. In February, 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.

Ratcliffe reiterated that the option of redeveloping the existing 74,310-seat Old Trafford remains, along with the widely regarded favoured choice of utilising land adjacent to the facility to develop a new home for United.

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