A NEW partnership between Lancashire Cricket and UA92 will boost Gary Neville's plans to bring a 'world-class' university to Trafford.

Lancashire Cricket confirmed the partnership on Thursday, when they announced the club will be the Official Higher Education partner of UA92 on a multi-year contract.

Former Man United captain Gary Neville, founder of UA92, said: “It’s an incredibly exciting time for everyone associated with UA92. It’s been a long time in the making but we’re in a position now where we’re going to execute the plan. This partnership with Lancashire Cricket Club is another important step for us.

“I’m incredibly excited about working with Lancashire Cricket Club. It feels like a true partnership involving two forward thinking and fast-growing organisations.

"We are going to work together so that UA92 enhances what the Club is doing and equally they can help us with what we are aiming to achieve.”

As part of the agreement, Lancashire Cricket Club will co-develop the new university's curriculum, alongside Microsoft and other high-profile UA92 partners.

The new partnership will provide opportunities for UA92 students to take up internship roles at Emirates Old Trafford, across media, content, marketing, hospitality and events, and play a key role in specific projects.

The partnership will even see Old Trafford's world-class media facilities renamed the UA92 Player & Media Centre.

Neville added: “The team at Emirates Old Trafford has been fantastic with us from day one and it’s great that they have embraced this project as much as we have.

"I strongly believe that the long-term visions between the organisations align, and the team and I are determined to make this partnership a success.

“Emirates Old Trafford is one of the leading stadiums in world cricket following its redevelopment and the ‘UA92 Player & Media Centre’ is one of the best media facilities I have seen.

“Having the UA92 brand on it is fantastic, particularly considering how many high profile matches are going to be played here over the next seven years.”

The high-profile partnership was endorsed by Trafford Council, who claimed the move demonstrates the benefits that UA92 will bring to young people in the area.

Theresa Grant, Chief Executive of Trafford Council, commented: “I am absolutely delighted with the announcement of this partnership, which brings two of our key partners together, and strengthens the existing close relationship Trafford Council have with Lancashire Cricket Club.

“UA92 is a catalyst for regeneration in an area that already has many rich assets but equally has challenges around investment, and this partnership sits perfectly within the Council’s wider plans for the area.

"The involvement of Lancashire Cricket Club in UA92, as an international sporting venue, will further strengthen interest and investment in the area, as well as inspire even more young people in Trafford and the wider region to come to study with UA92.

“This year will see the pace of development in the area increase, and I’m excited to see plans being cemented and even more benefits coming from this fantastic partnership.”

UA92 will be based at the Kellogg’s building next to Emirates Old Trafford, which will be refurbished and modernised ahead of the new university’s opening in September next year. More than 6,000 students are expected to be studying at UA92 by 2024.

UA92 says it will offer a new approach to education, developed in partnership with the award-winning Lancaster University, with students’ degrees awarded by Lancaster University. It will include media, business, sport and psychology academic undergraduate programmes and develop graduates with the skills and experience to meet the needs of the ever-changing business world.

The brainchild of The Class of 92 (Gary and Phil Neville, Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes and Nicky Butt), the new university is part of a wider Stretford Masterplan, being led by Trafford Council, with ambitious and exciting plans to revitalise Stretford, bring investment into the area, and enhance the local economy by £26 million per year.

Lancashire Cricket and UA92 say the partnership will play a vital role in enhancing the local community, making Trafford and Stretford stronger and more successful in the longer term.

Justin Hopwood, Sales and Marketing Director of Lancashire Cricket Club, added: “We are absolutely delighted to announce this new partnership, and we’re looking forward to working together over the next few years.

“We’re all very enthusiastic about the benefits that we will both share, aligning ourselves with a new and exciting educational institution, with the support of a top-10 university in Lancaster, right on our doorstep, makes this a very exciting partnership for the Club.

“This is a true partnership between two organisations that will see us offer unique opportunities for students in the world of professional sport, and develop the next generation of sport, media and business graduate.”

Next year sees Emirates Old Trafford host six ICC Cricket World Cup fixtures and an Ashes Test as well as a comprehensive array of international fixtures that the Club has been awarded between 2020 and 2024.

Professor Simon Guy, Interim Principal at UA92, said: “This partnership announcement with Lancashire Cricket Club is another exciting stepping stone in the creation of University Academy 92.

"It is going to be a great opportunity for students at UA92 to have Emirates Old Trafford, as well as Manchester United Football Club, within walking distance of our new campus.

“We wanted a location that would inspire, engage and encourage our students to become the best they can be and the experience that will be gained at a club such as Lancashire Cricket will empower them to reach their full potential.”