Manchester City have unveiled extensive plans to develop a world-class first-team and youth training facility adjacent to the Etihad Stadium.
The ambitious Barclays Premier League club want to develop up to 80 acres of brownfield land as part of their recently-announced Etihad Campus project. City have spent three years planning a scheme which could take a further three to six years to come to full fruition.
When complete the facility will include an academy for 400 players, 16 football pitches, state-of-the-art first-team training and injury rehabilitation facilities, a 7,000-capacity stadium and staff offices.
It will bring all arms of the club together with a bridge linking the site to the Etihad Stadium and the rest of the Etihad Campus. The first team and some staff are currently based nine miles away from Eastlands at Carrington.
Former City midfielder Patrick Vieira, who last week retired to begin a new role as football development executive at the club, said: "The club have been working for three years to develop the best facilities for youth and first team and they have come up with something unbelievable.
"It will benefit the club and the city and I think everyone will be very proud that the city has a development like this."
City have earmarked 5.5 acres of the site for further community use, which could include an education facility and a sports institute. A period of public consultation, featuring an exhibition at the Etihad Stadium, will begin this week.
City chief executive Garry Cook said: "Manchester City's ambition is to be a successful and sustainable football club and youth recruitment and development through a top-class facility is a key component of that ambition.
"Our research to date has been painstaking and our planning comprehensive and whilst our plans would inevitably have a positive impact on both our young and established playing talent, the regenerative and economic impact for our community should not be underestimated.
"We welcome the views of all the communities we serve as we seek to submit planning permission for this most exciting of proposals."
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