Manchester City Football Club plans for a brand new academy and training complex have been backed by the council's planning committee.

The proposed youth development and first team academy in Openshaw will be built on an 80-acre Brownfield site adjacent to the Etihad Stadium. It will include 17 pitches and a 7,000 capacity stadium for youth matches.

A club statement said: "We're delighted with today's announcement and remain committed to support the completion of the process which obviously includes the upcoming review period."

The complex will be built on land that the club has purchased in the area over the last two years. It will form big part of what the club is calling the Etihad Campus, which will cater for up to 400 young players. The complex will also have facilities for 40 youth players to be accommodated and schooled on site.

Manchester City Council leader Sir Richard Leese told the BBC: "The Etihad Stadium and Campus are at the heart of the regeneration of the wider East Manchester area and the fact that these plans have been approved is excellent news for the community. This will not just create another world class sporting facility in the city, it will also create jobs and other opportunities for local residents."

He added: "It's one of the earliest manifestations of how the partnership between Manchester City Football Club, the council and New East Manchester will deliver significant community and economic benefits in the years ahead. As we go into an Olympic year, this will also help cement the city's reputation as a place where sporting talent is nurtured."

Posted on 23/12/2011