The Kellogg’s site on Talbot Road is to house University Academy ’92, a sports, media and business-focused higher education facility backed by the former Manchester United footballers Gary and Phil Neville, Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes and Nicky Butt.
Trafford Council, long rumoured to be in line to buy the site, is to pay £12m for the land. The university is to be a branch of Lancaster University, and will be delivered in partnership with Bruntwood, Trafford College and Microsoft. The venture is targeting an opening for September 2019.
As part of the plans, a leisure centre will be built at the site, replacing the existing Stretford Leisure Centre. Sports pitches will be built at Turn Moss, around a mile away, between Stretford Grammar and the Mersey.
The Talbot Road site will also include just under 160,000 sq ft of office/university space, a 184-bedroom hotel and 154 apartments.
Kellogg’s announced in July that it is to vacate Talbot Road, moving to 46,000 sq ft in the Orange Tower at MediaCityUK fromJanuary 2018.
Gary Neville, project founder, said: “I have always believed that success is down to more than just having talent and good luck. There should be no limits to what you can achieve with the right preparation.
“Our aim is that UA92 graduates would leave with an academic qualification, of course, but also with a range of other skills such as how to deal with pressure, understand finance, leadership and presentational skills, and also how to maintain a healthy body and mind. In other words, the complete package you need to succeed in the workplace.”
The project has echoes of the University Football College pioneered at Burnley by Brendan Flood, a partner of Neville’s on some property ventures. Since its establishment, UFCB has opened further operations at Wembley and the Etihad campus.
Cllr Sean Anstee, leader of Trafford Council, said that the location, so close to both cricketing and footballing Old Traffords, would be an “inspirational” location in which to study.
Lesley Davies, principal and chief executive of Trafford College, said, “We are creating a unique partnership between Trafford College and UA92 which will give students access to high quality technical and professional qualifications combined with a joint enhanced skills development programme.
“The programme will include qualifications in business, sport excellence and media. In addition all students will not only produce an extended project determined by the business partners but also benefit from the development of a personal employability and digital skills plan, business master classes from partner organisations and high quality work placement opportunities.”