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Former Man Utd players to develop new university in Manchester

Five ex-Manchester United footballers have partnered with higher education organisations and property developers to plan a new university in Manchester.

The ex-footballers – Nicky Butt, Ryan Giggs, Gary Neville, Phil Neville, and Paul Scholes – have formed a partnership with Lancaster University and Trafford Council to develop the concept of a new university on the site of Kellogg’s current head office, just opposite Old Trafford Cricket Ground.

The project is also backed by property developer Bruntwood, as well as Microsoft and Trafford College, while it is being supported by Manchester United and Lancashire County Cricket Club.

The partnership plans to snap up the site, which will be vacated by Kellogg’s in 2018, to build new facilities including a new 184-room hotel, apartment and office blocks, sports pitches, and teaching space.

A three-month consultation on the project, dubbed University Academy 92, is now due to begin, with the intention that the university will welcome its first students in September 2019.

Mecanoo is already on board as architect for the project.

Trafford Council said the project is designed to make “a strong contribution towards regeneration of the Old Trafford and Stretford areas”, and will feature as a key part of a refreshed masterplan for the area.

Trafford Council leader Sean Anstee said the new project could attract 6,500 student to the borough by 2028, while the project has also been backed by the Department for Education.

A DfE spokesman said: “The partnering of business giants, including Microsoft, with Lancaster University highlights how academia and business can collaborate to create a ground-breaking new model of higher education.

“New and independent providers have always played an important role in increasing choice and extending the benefits of higher education to more people and University Academy 92 is true to that mission.”

The project will be the third major scheme backed by Gary Neville and Ryan Giggs in Manchester, following the Hotel Football development, built by Galliford Try, and the £200m St Michael’s development in the city centre.

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