LONDON: A joint task force will study the options for redeveloping the Old Trafford area of Manchester and a new “national stadium for the north”.

It includes Lord Coe, who masterminded the London Olympics, metro mayor Andy Burnham and ex-Manchester United captain Gary Neville.

The task force also numbers Trafford Council chief executive Sara Todd, academics and a fans group member.

The group is expected to make recommendations later this year.

Club co-owner Sir Jim Ratcliffe recently outlined his preference to replace Old Trafford with a new-build ground that could be used as a national venue.

The council had welcomed the proposal as part of its plans to regenerate the wider Trafford Wharf area.

Lord Coe said: “I have seen the potential for stadiums to become focal points for strong communities and catalysts for social and economic development.

“That was certainly true of the venues we built in east London for the 2012 Olympics, and we are overdue a project of similar scale and ambition in the north of England.”

Burnham said the development of an “iconic stadium” would help attract investment, create jobs and benefit Trafford and communities across the city-region and beyond.

He added: “This bold and exciting vision for the future of Old Trafford and the surrounding area can become another success story for our city-region.”

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