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COUNCIL PROPOSE A FURTHER £670,000 LOAN TO "PROTECT LONG-TERM INVESTMENT" IN THE AJ BELL STADIUM AND SURROUNDING AREA
In a move which will no doubt anger many people in the City, Salford City Council is considering a further loan to CosCos, the company behind the AJ Bell Stadium. This time as part of its long term ambitious plans to regenerate the area.

As local services are increasingly put under pressure from cuts and the fate of children's nurseries in the City hang in the balance, Salford Council is proposing another loan, this time a staggering £670,000 to CoSCos, the company that is in charge of operating the stadium.

This number would double to £1.34m after partner Peel Holdings matches the loan funding.

The council claims that the money will come not from money earmarked for other services but from money gained as a result of the successful profit that stadium has made over the year.

Some however argue that the company is not a viable success if it has to rely on continual top up loans from the money it pays back in order to carry on operating and that the money would be better used propping up other services that are under pressure.

CoSCos, which is jointly owned by the council and Peel Holdings, is responsible for managing the stadium and the land around it.

Salford City Council says its long-term plans to regenerate the area and bring jobs and new opportunities to the site are firmly on track and the loan will protect those long-term plans. Peel Holdings will match the loan, if approved.

Deputy City Mayor John Merry said:

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“We have already seen investment by Greene King and hope to announce further investment by another major household name very soon.

“This is part of the long-term ambitions we have always had for this area. The stadium was built as the catalyst to regenerate over 36 acres of formerly derelict land now known as Salford Gateway and create new jobs and opportunities for local people.

“This year the AJ Bell stadium will return another operating profit after hosting high profile rugby matches, weddings, exhibitions and its first highly successful music concert. It is expected to continue in profit which will help the company meet its existing loan repayments but, while we progress the development of land around the stadium, the overall business still needs financial support.

“If approved, the funds will not come from money allocated to council services but from loan repayments made by CosCos.”

 

The decision, on whether to advance a £670,000 loan to CoSCos will be made by the council’s Cabinet on Tuesday 11 September.


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