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Thursday 25th March 2010

FC UNITED GOES TO GROUND

In case you haven't noticed we've managed to secure an amber light from Manchester City Council for our proposed ground development on Ten Acres Lane in Newton Heath. Years of hard work has taken us this far yet the really hard work has yet to begin.

The green light will come after consultation with residents local to the site and the owners of our Football Club as well as legal agreement with Manchester City Council and when we have the money. We're embarking on a major community project which means that the facility must match the expectations of the community in which it sits as well as providing the supporters of the club, whether they be local residents, match-goers, members or sponsors with a ground we can all enjoy and be proud of.

Details of the processes to get us to the point of actually digging holes will be forthcoming so keep an eye on our official website - http://www.fc-utd.co.uk - and also on our development fund site - http://www.fc-utd.co.uk/devfund. Owners will also find more details on the members' website which can be accessed at http://www.fc-utd.co.uk/login.php. The best way to get involved is to become a member/owner so please join up and contribute to the decision making right at the core of the club.

Key to getting the ground built is funding; raising money through the development fund which has a target of £500,000 and through the Community Shares scheme is critical to the success of this project. The DF team will circulate more details about how you can get involved shortly (or go now to the devfund site above) and all members will receive more information regarding the shares scheme ahead of the upcoming General Meeting.

Here, in case you've missed it, is the press release issued on Thursday 25/03/2010...

FCUM REVEALS LOCATION OF PROPOSED STADIUM

FC United of Manchester has announced plans to develop a football ground in Newton Heath, Manchester - the birthplace of Manchester United.

The supporter-owned club, established when the Glazer family took over Manchester United in May 2005, is proposing to include new and renovated community sports facilities and a multi-function community space at the 5,000-capacity stadium.

  • Location finally unveiled by FCUM and councillors

The club wants to provide state of the art facilities that will create new investment in the area and opportunities for local people in sports participation and physical activity, youth inclusion, education, health, employment and a range of other services.

The site for the development is the existing Ten Acres Lane sports centre, which is owned by Manchester City Council.

FC United, New East Manchester and Manchester City Council have been working closely over the past two years to develop the plans and consultation will now progress with local residents, community groups and FC United members who own the club.

FC United is working to secure the finance for the £3.5m development, which will include a public appeal for donations, a Community Shares issue and grant funding.

Club General Manager Andy Walsh said: "The announcement will be a big boost to the club and we also want the development to be of benefit to Newton Heath, the discussions with the council have been very positive and we are grateful for their support. The significance of this location is historical while it will also showcase a new model of facility development, based on football supporter ownership and community involvement."

Manchester City Council's Executive Member for Culture and Leisure, Cllr Mike Amesbury, said: "We have been supportive of this development to date and we are pleased to now take it to the next stage. While there is a way to go yet we feel that this will have significant local community benefits and bring an iconic supporter-owned club to Manchester."

Eddie Smith, chief executive of urban regeneration company New East Manchester said: "We are working closely with FC United to help achieve their aspirations of acquiring land in Newton Heath for a new football ground. This is still very early stages but we are supportive of their proposals which would bring further regeneration benefits to east Manchester."

FC United hopes the development will be completed in the next two to three years, subject to consultation, funding and planning.
END

BUT, IS IT NEWS?

The media has been all over this story throughout Thursday with TV features on the BBC, SKY and Granada.

The newspapers - national, local and even non-local local papers printing articles in their main editions as well as on their internet sites. This shows how important news like this is given that some would have had the club disappear by now whilst others have expressed doubt that a club based on supporter ownership such as ours could work.

Here is a list of links of press and other media articles online :