Manchester City today officially opened its £150m football academy complex in east Manchester with legend Tony Book invited to perform the honours..
Around 80 acres of industrial land close to the Etihad Stadium have been the site of intense construction activity over the past two years
The land, once home to the Clayton Aniline chemical works, a scrap yard and other businesses, now has a 7,000-seat arena as well as player and youth accommodation.
The academy will cater for 400 players and there is also a media centre and 18 football pitches.
At the Soccerex football conference in September, Pete Bradshaw, head of infrastructure development and corporate responsibility at the club, said: “It took us 18 months just to clean the soil on what was a horrendously polluted site.
” All the soil has been washed, washed again and reused. It is now going to be the headquarters of the City Football Group, there are 18 full-size pitches including a 7,000 seat stadium all with under-soil heating. We have our own energy centre, reservoir to catch the rain water so it can be re-used, we’ve planted 2,000 mature trees and created a wildlife corridor with 3km of hedgerows.”