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FC United Stadium Plans Progress Despite Protests

Critics attack council's £550k loan in new ground deal

Written by . Published on January 20th 2012.

FC United Stadium Plans Progress Despite Protests

MANCHESTER City Council has offered FC United of Manchester a loan of up to £500,000 to cover a shortfall in the cost of their new stadium in Moston.

A meeting took place yesterday to offer FCUM the £200,000 it failed to raise through its own sharesave scheme and additional funds as a commercial loan.

"If (FCUM) wishes to pursue a dream of their own stadium, then fine. But why should the council financially support that dream?"

The new £4.5m stadium in North Manchester - being built in partnership with Moston Juniors FC at the Ronald Johnson Playing Fields in Moston, received planning permission in October. It will hold 5,000 people.

Councillor Mike Amesbury, Executive Member for Culture and Leisure for Manchester City Council, said: "This important development will deliver significant social and economic benefits to the community in Moston and North Manchester.

"The partnership between FC United and Moston Juniors FC will not only result in around £4.5m of new investment in the area. It will also create the basis for an excellent sporting hub in North Manchester – with three pitches and a clubhouse which will all be used by the community as well as the clubs – and a new public space. On top of this FC United will work with Moston Juniors FC and a range of other partner agencies to help increase the number of people taking part in sport in the area – helping to tackle health and other social issues."

But some opponents to the loan - including one who contacted Confidential by email - said the it was 'both flabbergasting and disgusting at a time when the council are cutting essential services.'

"If (FCUM) wishes to pursue a dream of their own stadium and all the add ons they claim they want, then fine. But why should the council be obliged to financially support that dream?' he said. "Since when did the council become a bank?"

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HeadjackJanuary 23rd 2012.

The anonymous quote is a bit strange (at least you didn't quote twitter) and it would be great to have a bit more detail - for example, where is the rest of the money for construction coming from? Providing the Council is adequately secured, it looks like a decent investment in the local community.

Simon BinnsJanuary 24th 2012.

The person who sent the email in had not stated if it was intended for publication or not. We can't print the name without their permission.

D BMarch 18th 2012.

Does Mike Amesbury seriously think this is 'new public space'?! I will be very surprised if there is much access left for public use of these pitches after Moston Jnrs and FC have used them. This is clearly the wrong place for this development. Moston Juniors' future and FCs ethics are being twisted by the council. Planning officer involved needs reporting to his professional body.

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