UA92, the higher education project backed by Gary Neville and Bruntwood, looks on course to open in September next year with work now under way to transform the former Kellogg’s Building in Old Trafford into the university’s campus.
The project, also supported by KPMG and Microsoft, will see three floors of the former Kellogg’s Building, now vacant after the firm moved to MediaCity, converted into around 25,000 sq ft of academic space. Planning consent was secured in August.
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.
The work is being carried out by Bruntwood and Trafford Council as the landlord, while UA92 is the tenant, and the design team also includes architects Hawkins\Brown and BDP, project manager Zerum, and planner GVA How. Bruntwood Construction is the principal contractor with Workspace Design & Build on fit-out and AB Electrical on M&E.
UA92 is set to operate as a branch of Lancaster University, and its curriculum is being designed with the input of UA92’s partners as well as Lancashire County Cricket Club. Craig Gaskell also joined the organisation last month from Coventry University’s Scarborough Campus to head up UA92.
Gary Neville said: “To see work commence on the UA92 campus is another tremendous step forward. I think it will be a truly inspirational place for students to learn and engage with our partners.”
Cllr Andrew Western, leader of Trafford Council, added: “This ground-breaking scheme represents a huge regeneration opportunity for the area; UA92 will place Old Trafford at the heart of a new academic centre of excellence while driving investment in the borough for many, many years to come.
“We are confident it will be a catalyst for creating jobs, growing and retaining talent in the borough while building on the thriving community that already exists. The academic future looks bright for Old Trafford.”
UA92 sits within the wider Civic Quarter masterplan, which is set to be endorsed by Trafford Council at a meeting on 29 October.