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Manchester United complete Old Trafford task force with four new additions, Gary Neville dials in for first meeting

Manchester United and Trafford Council’s joint Old Trafford task force has been finalised with the addition of four new members.

The joint task force was created at the beginning of March to explore options for regenerating the Old Trafford area of Greater Manchester, with the building of a new stadium at the heart of plans given greater priority since Sir Jim Ratcliffe acquired a minority stake in the club.

Lord Sebastian Coe was appointed as chair of the task force and confirmed on X — formerly known as Twitter — that he chaired its inaugural meeting on Monday night.

The task force includes Andy Burnham, the mayor of Greater Manchester, and Sara Todd, Trafford Council’s CEO, as well as Gary Neville, the former United defender.

Four new additions have been made to the task force, with Tom Bloxham, the founder of Urban Splash, a UK-based property development company, joining the group.

Old Trafford map of surrounding areas

Bloxham is a United fan and is regarded as one of the pioneers of the urban regeneration that has taken place in Manchester over recent years.

Victoria Braddock, Marketing Manchester’s managing director, has also been added to the task force.

Marketing Manchester is the official place promotion agency for Greater Manchester and her experience in tourism and marketing will be an important part of the process.

Dan Jones, who previously headed up Deloitte’s sports arm, has also been added to the task force and was at Monday’s meeting.

Jones is a senior independent sports business adviser, most recently working with notable organisations Kick It Out, Twenty First Group and the Manchester FA.

Tim Newns — managing director for levelling up at the Office for Investment, a joint unit that sits between Downing Street and the Department for Business & Trade — is the fourth and final addition.

Previously, Newns was chief executive of Manchester’s Inward Investment Agency (MIDAS) for 11 years, where he oversaw the attraction of more than £6bn of investment and 50,000 jobs to the area.

In addition to the task force, there will be working groups designated to specialist areas, such as transport. The task force is an umbrella organisation, with the working groups operating underneath it.

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Collette Roche, United’s chief operating officer, was the only club representative present. Tom Crotty, a director at INEOS, was also at the meeting.

Only Neville was unable to be at Old Trafford on Monday night as he was travelling, but the Hotel Football owner, which is located opposite the stadium, dialled in virtually.

It was viewed as a positive meeting and it mainly consisted of setting out the path ahead, identifying the challenges and issues that will need addressing, as well as the coalitions that will need building and what needs to happen to move things forward.

Coe wanted to hear everyone’s initial perspectives on the regeneration plans and the process has been put in the hand of independent experts to determine the best steps forward.

On Tuesday, Coe posted on X to say the meeting “marked the start of a multi-stakeholder process to explore options for the stadium and surrounding area”.

Coe also said that “it is too soon to know where it will lead” and assured fans and local residents that they will be consulted throughout the process.

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Who is on the task force?

  • Seb Coe, Chair
  • Anna Bensky, Director of Major Projects at Peel Land and Property
  • Tom Bloxham, Chairman of Urban Splash
  • Eamonn Boylan, CEO of Greater Manchester Combined Authority
  • Victoria Braddock, Managing Director of Marketing Manchester
  • Andy Burnham, Mayor of Greater Manchester
  • Duncan Drasdo, CEO of Manchester United Supporters’ Trust
  • Dan Jones, former Head of Sports Business at Deloitte
  • Gary Neville, former Captain of Manchester United
  • Tim Newns, Managing Director for Levelling Up at the UK Office for Investment
  • Malcolm Press, Vice-Chancellor of Manchester Metropolitan University
  • Tom Ross, Leader of Trafford Council
  • Nancy Rothwell, President and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Manchester
  • Sara Todd, CEO of Trafford Council

(Michael Regan/Getty Images)



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