Council presses for super casino - Thursday 26th of July 2007

Council leader Sir Richard Leese met with Prime Minister Gordon Brown last week who told them a casino was not "dead in the water".

The government has said it wants a review of the issue which will be led by Salford MP Hazel Blears.

Sir Richard Leese said: "We are looking forward to the review and making a powerful case.

"We and the government share the same objective, namely the delivery of thousands of jobs in east Manchester.

"The Prime Minister said that the review in September would allow a report that will look at gambling in our country - the incidence and prevalence of it and the social effects of it."

In January, Manchester was named the preferred site for such an attraction at the expense of Blackpool.

Best route

But in March, peers rejected the plan by just three votes, after MPs had backed it by a majority of 24.

In Manchester many believe the super casino to be the best way of achieving regeneration.

Central MP Tony Lloyd organised the meeting between the council leader and Mr Brown.

He said: "Manchester has achieved success through working in partnership with central government - that remains the best route to the ongoing regeneration of East Manchester."

It has been estimated that a regional casino and associated leisure facilities in Manchester would involve the creation of more than 2,700 jobs and in excess of 250m direct investment and generate about 100m a year from tourism.

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