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Last Updated: Wednesday, 7 July, 2004, 18:05 GMT 19:05 UK
260m leisure site plan unveiled
The development would include a Las Vegas-style casino
A plan has been unveiled for a 260m Las Vegas-style casino and leisure complex in Manchester that would provide up to 1,500 jobs.

The development at Sportcity, in the east of the city, is dependent on the current relaxation of gambling laws being considered by the government.

The complex, on the site of Manchester City FC, would include a 4,000-seat arena and ice rink.

Council bosses said it would "accelerate" regeneration in the area.

The 80,823 sq m complex has been proposed by a consortium lead by Kerzner International Limited and Manchester-based Ask Developments, after it was selected from a number of bidders.

Under the scheme the casino would include 1, 250 slot machines and 50 gaming tables, and there would also be a 10-storey, 150-room hotel and a swimming complex, with artificial beach and wave machine.

'Fantastic facilities'

"We believe that a major destination leisure, casino and entertainment facility in East Manchester can become a significant contributor toward the revitalisation of the area," said Butch Kerzner, chief executive of Kerzner.

Ken Knott, chief executive of Ask Developments, said it would become one of the UK's top sports and leisure developments.

It would also include the construction of 500 apartments around a marina area, overlooking Sportcity and Philips Park.

Richard Leese, leader of Manchester City Council, said: "This proposal further accelerates the regeneration of East Manchester, with its community use of fantastic facilities and jobs, investment and training to benefit local people."

If it gets the go ahead the first phase of construction will begin in August next year, with the full development completed by March 2008.

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