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The Manchester College and UCEN Manchester Unveil ‘City Campus Manchester’

City Campus Manchester will benefit one million Mancunians and be home to industry standard facilities to deliver a high-quality technical education.

The Manchester College and UCEN Manchester today named its new £95 million, four storey campus ‘City Campus Manchester’, which will provide industry standard training and education facilities to the people of Manchester from its location opposite the AO Arena.

Chosen by colleagues and students the name reflects what they considered to be its unique selling point, being the only College having such a prominent location right in the heart of Manchester. City Campus Manchester will play a central role in providing one million Mancunians with access to a high-quality technical education over the building’s lifetime; and the importance of education, training and skills in improving economic outcomes for the citizens of Greater Manchester.

On schedule to open its door to students in September 2022, the build has now reached a crucial milestone after contractors, Willmott Dixon, recently completed the installation of the roof to make the campus watertight.

During the summer months work will commence on the internal fit out of the campus which will be home to the College’s Industry Excellence Academies for Computing & Digital, Creative and Digital Media, while also providing new facilities for the Industry Excellence Academy for Hospitality & Catering and its Centre of Excellence for Performing Arts.

It will also provide a dedicated space for sister organisation and higher education provider UCEN Manchester, providing a base for The Arden School of Theatre and Manchester Film School.

Unveiling the name, John Thornhill, CEO of the LTE Group said “I am delighted that, despite Covid restrictions, the construction of this major new facility for the residents of Greater Manchester started on time and continues apace, now being watertight. As Greater Manchester recovers from the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, high quality technical education delivered in these amazing and exciting new facilities, will equip people with the skills that employers require to power the recovery that will be vital to the future economic success of the region and the life opportunities of its citizens.”

Principal Lisa O’Loughlin said: “The importance of a technical education and its place in the city is reflected in the name chosen by our colleagues and students, which also recognises how vital training and skills will be in ensuring that Manchester continues to go from strength to strength in the years ahead.”

“We strongly believe that if we are to properly prepare our students for successful and rewarding careers, it is essential that they learn and train in an environment that closely matches that which they will experience when they enter the world of work in their chosen sector or field. Coupled with a curriculum offer that is co-developed and co-delivered with leading employers and industry partners, City Campus Manchester will provide the perfect place for students to call home as they develop the skills that will set them on the path to becoming the next generation of industry excellence.”

On the day Leader of the Council – Sir Richard Leese – met students who are helping to build the campus, as part of their Construction Scholarship programme.

Sir Richard Leese, Leader of Manchester City Council, said: "City Campus Manchester is just the kind of game-changer we need as we build back better from the pandemic. As a centre of excellence in the heart of the city for technical and vocational training in some of the country's fastest growing industries, its positive impact will be felt not just by students lucky enough to study there but by the city itself as its students leave college fully trained to industry standards and enter the workforce."

The new city centre campus forms part of a £140m investment The Manchester College and UCEN Manchester’s parent company, the LTE Group, is making in the education provider’s campuses, representing one of the largest co-created and co-funded projects the post-16 education sector has ever seen. 

Anthony Dillon, managing director for Willmott Dixon in the north, said: “The city centre campus will educate and create exciting opportunities for generations of Mancunians and we’re proud to say it is being built by the people of Greater Manchester for the people of Greater Manchester. To date we have invested more than £47m of the project spend with businesses in the local area.

“It is thanks to the strength of the relationships and collaboration between our team, The Manchester College, UCEN Manchester and all our local design and supply chain partners that we have overcome the challenges of the past year to drive the project forward, and, most importantly, kept everyone safe on site.

“As part of our partnership with The Manchester College we are also sponsoring 12 local students on the Architectural & Construction Engineering (ACE) Scholarship programme, co-developing and co-delivering their course, and they are playing a key role in building the new campus. This is an outstanding example of how industry and educators can work together to inspire and create opportunities for the construction workers of the future.”