Ex-Manchester United players' university plans approved

Phil Neville, Nicky Butt, Ryan Giggs, Gary Neville and Paul Scholes
Image caption The university will offer sport, media and business courses, say UA92

Members of Manchester United's "Class of '92" have had their plans to build a university and a student village approved.

The University Academy '92 (UA92) is part of a £170m Trafford Council plan for the Greater Manchester area.

The original designs were modified after locals said the "ugly tower block" was an "eyesore".

Trafford Council's executive committee endorsed the proposals in a vote on Monday.

Last week the council said the offending 20-storey tower block had been scrapped in favour of "lower rise" student accommodation adding there would be "ongoing engagement" about the development.

They were approved as part of the refreshed Stretford master plan which includes proposals to redevelop part of Stretford Mall and bring the Grade II listed art deco Essoldo cinema on Chester Road back into use.

UA92 is fronted by former Manchester United stars Gary and Phil Neville, Ryan Giggs, Nicky Butt and Paul Scholes and takes its name from the year they started their careers at the club.

The university will offer sport, media and business courses and cater for up to 6,500 students as part of Lancaster University, in partnership with Trafford Council and Trafford College.

New homes and leisure facilities are also part of the plan, which would see the main campus located on the site of the former Kellogg's building on Talbot Road.

Image copyright Google
Image caption Part of Stretford Mall will be demolished and redeveloped under the scheme

Respondents to the consultation said there was a lack of a plan for an "enhanced evening economy" and pointed to the poor quality of the physical environment and vacant buildings.

Trafford Council said it was committed to "ongoing engagement", but the redevelopment would "drive economic growth".

The five former players have diversified their careers since they retired from playing, purchasing Salford City FC in 2014 and opening a hotel alongside Old Trafford a year later.

On Monday, Gary Neville and Ryan Giggs's £200m plan to redevelop part of Manchester city centre was snubbed for a second time by conservationists.

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