Gary Neville's University plans at core of a revised Stretford Masterplan
What are the plans, what are the risks?
The University itself
Big launch, lots of photo-opportunities, noisy videos, but what do we really know of the plans?
..and what is the UA92 vision actually about?
Universities have traditionally placed academic learning at the core of the curriculum, supported by character development for the world of work. By comparison, UA92 will deliver a curriculum with employability and character development at the core wrapped around by academic development.
There's lots of talk of character and striving and success and goals, but beyond buzz words we still know very little about the university itself. We know that Lancaster University (University of the Year 2017!) are backing the project and they intend to give more information in the new year about the curriculum.
There could be up to 7000 students enrolled ultimately at the campus, but there's also a lot of talk of paid placements. It would be helpful to understand the nature of these placements, whether they're local placements or whether they're global; and the interaction with the University whilst on those placements.
Not really a planning consideration, but in terms of understanding the economic regeneration and sustainability of all this, I want to get a better idea of how many students will need to be housed locally, where they're from, and what their spending power is.
There will be opportunities for local businesses, for voluntary sector, for existing educational institutions. I really want to learn more.
The Talbot Road Campus itself
Trafford Council have already purchased the site. Currently, it's the Kelloggs HQ but Kelloggs are moving to Media City. It's a big and valuable site. My understanding is that Trafford will be the landlords and are already committed to refurbishing the building. There'll be a new sports centre/swimming pool built on site (top right of map) to replace Stretford Sports Centre.
This sports centre probably deserves its own article; users are understandably worried about provision at the new centre, will it be more difficult to book a court? Will the university be making block bookings and residents picking up what's left? It is some reassurance that Trafford Leisure will be operating the centre, but I want to be certain that this will meet the community's need. I'm trying to get a consultation event organised at Stretford Sports Centre dedicated to the transfer of sports provision to the new site.
- What is Trafford Council's exposure to risk on the refurbishment of the Kelloggs building?
- As landlord of the Kelloggs building, what is our exposure to ongoing financial committment?
- What happens if the University fails? Implications for Trafford Council and Leisure Trust?
- How does the proposed hotel and 150 apartments proposed for the UA92 campus site fit in with the university - are these serious proposals or just something marking time until further announcements
- The new Stretford Masterplan identifies 84 Talbot Road for development but no other sites beyond the K site, why is this when there seems a number of sites further down Talbot Road ripe for development including the old bowling green etc?
- What guarantees have residents that the new sport centre will be able to cope with the increased demand generated by improved and new facilities as well as the increased student population on site?
- How will the Leisure Trust consult users about what needs to go in the new centre?
- University Campuses are usually 24hr operations - to what extent will this apply at UA92?
- What arrangements are being considered for cycling and walking routes from Stretford to the campus?
- Gorse Hill already suffers notable neglect from some private landlords, will you now introduce a landlord licensing scheme, such as has proved so successful in Newham and other boroughs?
- What's the intention for the current sports centre site?