Football Club United of Manchester is planning to launch an open tender to find designers or architects to create its first stadium and club facilities later this year.
The club, formed in 2005 by Manchester United FC supporters following that team’s controversial takeover by Malcolm Glazer, has identified a potential site and reports that it is working with a series of unnamed designers on initial proposals for a ‘sustainable stadium’.
Meanwhile, Manchesterbased Judge Gill says it is working up a design for a sustainable football stadium for a club in or around the city. The interior design group’s plans include an ‘expandable’, 7000-capacity stadium constructed from recycled freight containers and featuring roof-mounted solar panels.
‘The community aspect of this team and its supporters is very strong,’ says Judge Gill cofounder David Judge, who declines to name the club. Judge is hoping that his consultancy will be able to secure any upcoming contract to design the stadium ‘partly by virtue of our experience in commercial and retail design’.
Judge Gill designed the Manchester City FC Reebok City superstore in 2003. Semi-professional FC United of Manchester, which is owned by its supporters and plays in the Northern Premier League Premier Division, is undertaking a feasibility study for its stadium.
FC United board member Adam Brown reveals that it has approached two design and architect supporters – and an ‘environment and sustainable design group’ – to draw up separate proposals.
The club reports that it is ‘looking for the best value’, and is now seeking £6m-£8m in grants and contributions from supporters to fund the stadium’s design and build.
‘We are having a series of critical meetings over the next few weeks, after which we will launch an open tender to find architects or designers,’ says Brown. ‘So far, it is looking really positive that the project is going to go ahead,’ he adds.
The most environmentally friendly stadium in the UK belongs to Dartford Football Club. Designed by architect Urban Edge Studio, it features two man-made lakes that store rain for watering the pitch.
FOOTBALL CLUB UNITED OF MANCHESTER
- Set up in 2005 by former Manchester United supporters, who left following Malcolm Glazer’s controversial takeover of MUFC
- Its supporters, who own the club, are known as The Red Rebels
- The club currently shares a stadium, Gigg Lane, with Bury FC