Hailed as the best of its kind in the world, Manchester City’s new £200 million training complex, the City Football Academy (CFA), opened recently, following what has been a landmark construction project for the club.
The state-of-the-art youth development and first team training facility is located on an 80 acre site adjacent to the Etihad Stadium.
Main Contractors were BAM Construction; project architects were Rafael Vinoly Architects; quantity surveyors were Turner & Townsend; project managers were Christal Management; structural engineers were Arup and M&E consultants were Wallace Whittle.
The building, which provides a centre for up to 400 young players as well as housing the first team training base and the club’s operations functions, followed four years of extensive research and planning by City.
The club examined 70 different training facilities in various sports across Australia, Europe and the United States and considered 19 design options before settling on their final plan.
More than 450 players train at the CFA every week, from the under-six age group through to Manuel Pellegrini’s first team.
The new facility includes: an academy for up to 400 young players with classrooms for 200; on-site accommodation for junior and senior players; 16.5 football pitches, 12 of them dedicated to players aged from 8 to 21, and a state-of-the-art first team building with changing rooms, gym, refectory and injury and rehab centre. The third floor of the academy is entirely reserved for players’ bedrooms, meaning it is effectively a team hotel.
There is also a 7000 capacity stadium for youth matches as well as six swimming pools, staff offices, a dedicated media centre and a bridge linking the site to the Etihad Stadium and the rest of the Etihad Campus.
The project, which had the overwhelming support of the local community, was underpinned by ambitious local recruitment and supply chain targets, both of which were achieved, significantly up-skilling the local community and making a positive economic impact on the surrounding area.
25% of the 70% local workforce was drawn from the East Manchester area with 10% of people on site previously unemployed. A further 95 trainees and apprentices were employed, working towards professional qualifications.
80% of the project budget was spent in the North West with 883 contracts awarded to local companies.
The CFA also reached the highest possible environmental standards – the gold standard under L.E.E.D. guidelines – with low carbon, low water and low waste measures being employed to minimise impact on the environment and encourage local bio diversity. The remediation alone of the 80-acre site by the club had a positive environmental impact, turning a vast tract of land, polluted by years of heavy industrial use into clean terrain. 2000 trees were planted on and around the site.
The CFA was officially opened Tony Book, City’s most decorated captain and a three-time manager of the club. The 80-year-old played for City between 1966 and 1974, mostly under legendary manager Malcolm Allison.
Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne was guest of honour on the opening day.
“I am a strong believer in improving sporting facilities for young people, which is why I am delighted to oversee the opening of the City Football Academy. The partnership between Abu Dhabi United Group and Manchester City Council is a benchmark for public private partnership, driving investment into the North of England and developing projects where business and the community benefit.”
City Chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak added:
“At the outset of his ownership, back in Autumn 2008, His Highness Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, set out his vision for the future of Manchester City Football Club. He pledged to bring success on the field and to nurture young talent whilst at the same time remaining proudly rooted to the community in which it resided.
“The cornerstone of the future, was a vision for youth development and sustainability; a vision to educate talented young footballers on and off the pitch and to do so in a facility supported by the best coaches and coaching programmes. The vision was underpinned by an unwavering commitment to the regeneration of the local area in both economic and environmental terms.”
Fosroc is a world leader in the delivery of tailored Constructive Solutions for virtually any type of construction project, combining high quality products, expert technical support, customer service and innovation.
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The company’s main market sectors are rail, energy, water industry and wind, although Fosroc regularly supplies all major infrastructure and building projects, working with contractors including Laing O’Rourke, Carillion, Morgan Sindall, Balfour Beatty and Skansa on a regular basis.
One of Fosroc’s key areas of experience is in stadia construction, with its solutions used in a variety of projects for Premier League football clubs including Arsenal FC’s Emirates Stadium and Stamford Bridge, the home of Chelsea FC.
This heritage in stadia work made Fosroc an ideal choice to work on Manchester City’s ambitious City Football Academy project. Fosroc supplied a total solution package including products across its sealant, gas & waterproofing and concrete repair ranges, providing the project’s engineers, architects and main contractor all with one point of contact.
Fosroc’s team of experts were able to provide ongoing CAD details, product training, on site and technical support, as well as delivering a comprehensive and integrated suite of products.
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Established in 1979, FK Group is leading nationwide full building envelope contractor with offices in Altrincham, Doncaster and Romford in Essex. FK Group is a multi-skilled force offering clients a complete envelope construction solution.
FK Group works alongside some of the biggest names in construction including; BAM, Gazeley, Laing O’Rourke, McLaren, Simons, and Volker Fitzpatrick for some of the nation’s biggest brands from ASDA, B&M, John Lewis, Morrisons to Waitrose. Services range from design, construction through to maintenance. With dedicated teams, the company has unrivalled experience across disciplines including design, roofing, cladding, specialist glazing and maintenance.
FK Group has developed a unique product for the building exteriors at the new City Football Academy (CFA) in East Manchester. FK Group was one of the local Greater Manchester companies awarded contracts to work on the City Football Academy City’s youth development and first team training centre.
The specialist contractor won the contract for the cladding, roofing and façade work on buildings at the new training academy. Prior to their confirmed appointment by contractor BAM, FK Group spent 18 months working as part of the design team alongside the architects developing solutions for the full envelope design, ensuring they achieved the aesthetic ambitions and commercial demands of the project.
The FK team developed the ‘Eticlad’ façade system; a unique cladding product for the purpose-built buildings at the CFA, completing both full sized mock up panels and working samples of the bespoke solution for testing and the client’s approval.
Working with the architects and their visual ambitions, FK strived to develop an achievable, cost effective façade system. The resulting bespoke product makes the academy’s buildings highly distinctive.
Steve Hall, Construction Director at FK Group, said:
“Manchester City Football Academy is one of the most exciting and prestigious building schemes in the North West in recent years and as a local contractor, we are really thrilled to have been involved in it. From the very early stages of the project when we were able to provide meaningful input into the design development, CFG have treated us as a genuine partner and we are delighted that the relationship continues to be a productive one, with our team heading out to Melbourne to work on a facility for Melbourne City Football Club.”
For more information, please visit: www.fkgroup.co.uk.