Salford Red Devils and Sale Sharks stadium set for full council takeover with £65m boost

Salford Red Devils stadium is set for a £65 million boost as the council prepares to take full control after months of ‘painstaking’ discussions.

Salford City Council already controls 50% of the site, which is also used by Sale Sharks, with private property company Peel owning the remaining share.

This is a welcome boost for both teams, with an estimated £65 million redevelopment plan on the stadium and the surrounding site, which will create around 790 new jobs.

Salford City Mayor, Paul Dennett said: “I am delighted we are nearing the conclusion of months of painstaking discussions.

“In a mission close to my heart, Salford Red Devils will retain their position playing in the City of Salford, which is why the community stadium was set up in the first place.

“After being a joint owner, the place which Sale Sharks also call home, the council is set to take the reins and full control of the stadium and surrounding site.

“This will enable the council to deliver its aims and aspirations which includes securing the councils long-term interests by controlling future redevelopment and regeneration of the stadium facilities and adjacent development land.”

The mayor believes that the council taking full control could result in higher participation levels and improve the mental health of more people through the promotion of rugby as an accessible sport.

Salford Council is taking full control of the stadium and surrounding site

Paul King, the managing director of Salford Red Devils added: “I can’t understate how important the conclusion of this deal is for the club.

“We’ve stretched as best we can for as long as we can to even get to this point today, and once the agreement gets over the line, it really does give us access to some transformative opportunities.”

The Community Stadium first opened in 2012 which has served as the home of both the Red Devils in rugby league, and the Sharks in rugby union.

Paul Smith, the chief executive of Sale Sharks said: “While there is still work to do, this announcement hopefully begins to draw a line under the questions around stadium ownership and allows us to start working together to create a real hub for rugby, across both codes, in the north.

“There is a huge opportunity here to build a really special venue to support our community and develop top level sport in the region.”

Mayor Dennett held a media event at the stadium on Tuesday, which was a day before the cabinet meeting that would determine if the council were going ahead with the 50 percent purchase off Peel.

Salford City Councillor Robin Garrido, a Conservative representative, opposes the move to take full ownership as he believes the council didn’t have the funds to buy the remaining shares.

The cost of the takeover is set to be around £2 million in total which will also see the council take on the £38 million debt owed by the stadium company.

According to Mayor Dennett, desolate land to the north of the stadium is being looked at by Cole Waterhouse and could be earmarked for a new logistics hub.

As well as developments in the immediate area, proposals have been made to improve transport links from the stadium to Port Salford, a £138m port and warehouse facility planned for Barton.

The Salford Community Stadium will be one of the host venues for the Women’s Rugby World Cup in 2025 – the only one selected in Greater Manchester.

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