Property giant Bruntwood invests £1.25m in UA92

Manchester property group, Bruntwood, has invested £1.25m in Trafford higher education institution University Academy 92 (UA92).

Bruntwood CEO, Chris Oglesby, said: “At Bruntwood, we are proud to support a number of organisations across the North West that help to upskill and provide opportunities to young people and under-served groups. UA92 does just that, so we are incredibly excited to partner with them and help more young people from across our region to access the education and opportunities they deserve.

“Greater Manchester is currently facing a digital skills shortage, and we want to help increase the pool of available talent and help our customers to gain access to the best and brightest the region has to offer.

“This milestone marks the latest of many proposed collaborations to invest in skills, and reaffirms our commitment to investing in the North’s talent at every step of the journey from education with UA92, to business innovation investment through our co-founded Manchester Angels investment network.”

He added: “Our purpose is to create thriving cities and economies. To do that, our communities and societies need to be fair and equal, and we have a part to play in developing that and believe that this investment will help UA92 to unlock the ambition of more people in the North.

“Our role on the UA92 board will help join the dots and bolster its strategic leadership.”

UA92 was co-founded by Lancaster University and the Manchester United Class of ‘92. It opened in 2019 and offers a range of degree and other academic courses aimed at increasing access to higher education for a wider group of young people across the North West.

The partnership has been created to help close the digital skills gap and give Northern businesses greater access to local, emerging talent – a vital step in levelling up the region.

Earlier this year UA92 announced it had been awarded a £2m funding grant by Office for Students to open a new Digital Academy later this year. This will deliver enhanced and cutting-edge learning and will increase UA92’s student capacity for digital students almost 10-fold, from 65 to 634.

Gary Neville, former Manchester United captain and co-founder at UA92, welcomed Bruntwood’s investment, saying: “This will drive our mission to make higher education accessible to all no matter their postcode.

“Bruntwood’s commitment to making real change in their communities, and their support of ground breaking organisations, aligns perfectly with our ethos. This is a stellar opportunity for us to boost access to higher education for as many young people as possible across our region.”

Lancaster University’s vice-chancellor, Andy Schofield, said: “Business partnerships have played a vital role in the UA92 vision since inception, enhancing our students’ learning and providing valuable real life opportunities and experiences. We are looking forward to working with the Bruntwood team to help provide our students with the distinctive skills and experience they need to succeed in the future.”