The site earmarked for the Manchester super-casino — controversially AXED by the British government in February — could be turned into a tourist attraction like the O2 dome in Greenwich.

Homes, offices, shops or an industrial estate have all been ruled out at the Sportcity site in the wake of the credit crunch.

Now a report before Manchester City Council says a tourist attraction would make the biggest economic contribution.

Aim High

The report doesn’t say what the new attraction should be, only that it should be “nationally significant”. Similar projects around the UK include the O2 in Greenwich, formerly the Millenium Dome.

Eddie Smith, chief executive of regeneration body New East Manchester, told the BBC that the private sector would determine what was built.

“It is the typical Manchester way — we aim high and we usually succeed,” he said.

Lost Jobs
“No-one said we would get a casino and we got the regional casino — much to everyone’s surprise.”

The potential scale of the development — costing up to £300 MILLION would also make the Sportcity site which includes the Man City football stadium and a velodrome one of the largest visitor centres in Europe.

Senior council figures have been working with a government task force exploring ways of generating the same number of jobs a casino would have brought to east Manchester.


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