Work starts on Eastlands site preparation

Funded by the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA), Manchester City Council, the Northwest European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and Northwest Regional Development Agency (NWDA), the scheme will make the land, which formed part of the site proposed for the regional casino, ready for future development.

The project builds on other investment by the four funding partners to support the continued development of Eastland’s sporting, leisure and economic infrastructure, including the new National Indoor BMX Centre and a network of new pedestrian and cycle links to the surrounding area, which are currently on site.

Eddie Smith, chief executive of New East Manchester said: "This is a crucial step towards bringing this strategically important piece of land back into use.  When the right developer is found we want to be in a position to be ready to move quickly and deliver a scheme that will make Eastlands a leading international leisure and sporting destination.  Not only do we want to create a scheme that will attract significant visitors to East Manchester and bring economic benefits to the whole North West region, but we also remain committed to creating employment opportunities for local people."

Councillor Jim Battle, Deputy Leader of Manchester City Council said: "This work is vital and will mean we can hit the ground running when the right scheme is found for the site. The investment will also speed up potential for bringing new jobs to the area, creating a lasting economic legacy for east Manchester residents."

Steven Broomhead, Chief Executive of the NWDA, managing the Northwest ERDF Programme, said:  "These changes present a regeneration opportunity on a scale unprecedented in an English city. It’s another piece of the jigsaw in enabling East Manchester’s community to look forward to a brighter future.

"ERDF funding for the project will help tackle the industrial legacy of a key site within Eastlands, getting it ready for future private-sector led investment and accelerating the creation of new jobs for the region." 

Deborah McLaughlin, North West Director of the Homes and Communities agency said: "The remediation brings us a step closer to getting the land back into productive use. Once the future public realm works are also complete, Eastlands will be poised to become a key destination, bringing with it job opportunities for local people."

Eastlands was originally built to host the 2002 Commonwealth Games and has created a lasting legacy since that time with facilities including the original stadium (now home to Manchester City FC), Manchester Regional Arena, National Squash Centre, Tennis Centre, English Institute of Sport, Manchester Velodrome and, most recently, the construction of the new National Indoor BMX Centre. Each year, over 400 events are held at the complex, attracting over 4.5m visitors and providing employment for local residents.

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