UA92, the sports and media university backed by Bruntwood and former footballers including Gary Neville, has continued its rapid progress after plans to convert the former Kellogg’s building in Old Trafford into educational space were recommended for approval.
UA92 first announced plans for a new university initially based at the Kellogg’s building in September last year, and has wasted no time in progressing the project, supported by planner How and architect BDP, and by its partners Bruntwood and Trafford Council.
The plans for the building, now vacant after Kellogg’s move to MediaCity, include the conversion of three floors of university space with around 25,000 sq ft per floor.
UA92 is expected to open its doors in September 2019 in time for the 2019/2020 academic intake, but will take up space in the building on a phased basis; it will initially take part of the basement, and the ground and first floors, totalling circa 50,000 sq ft.
There is also an option for the university to take the upper two floors, again totalling around 50,000 sq ft, in subsequent academic years.
This uptake will depend “on the commercial viability and success of the UA92 concept”, meaning Trafford Council and Bruntwood have retained the existing B1 office use in the planning application to retain the office option if the university does not take the space.
Part of the ground floor will be used by another of UA92’s partners, Microsoft, as an IT demonstration centre.
After submitting plans for the project in June, the proposals are now due to be discussed by Trafford Council’s planning committee next week with a recommendation to approve. Trafford’s Green Party has objected to the plan.
The Kellogg’s building is the first proposal brought forward to house UA92, which will operate as a branch of Lancaster University, following an outline masterplan which was presented in September last year.
As well as teaching space focussed at the former office, there are also proposals for a leisure centre, an 184-bed hotel, and around 154 apartments. Trafford Council bought the land for £12m, and the plans to open a university at the site have also been backed by Trafford College.
Nearby, Trafford Council has also proposed to convert Charlton House on Chester Road into student flats to support the university. This development is also due to complete by September 2019, and will be subject to a compulsory purchase order to move the project forward.
Similarly, the 39,200 sq ft Warwick House office, bounded by Talbot Road and Warwick Road, is being brought forward as an office-to-student accommodation project, and will be developed under the newly-established UA92 Student Living brand.
A planning application for the latter project was submitted in July.