UCEN Manchester officially open state-of-the-art technical education facilities in East Manchester

Andy Burnham at Openshaw Campus
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New facilities for Health and Social Care and Sport at UCEN Manchester opened by Greater Manchester 

UCEN Manchester have officially opened their new, state-of-the-art £25m facilities for Health and Social Care and Sport at Openshaw Campus in East Manchester. 

To mark the opening Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham unveiled an inspirational new 9ft mural that recognises the resilience shown by young people across the region through the pandemic and inspires hope for an aspirational post-pandemic future as the city region embarks on its post-pandemic recovery.  

The mural, created by artist Zoe Power and produced by Alex Zawadski of Uncultured Creatives, has been shaped by some of UCEN Manchester’s Visual Arts students who were involved in creating the design brief for the mural and supported the artist selection panel in their important decision.  

The new state-of-the-art facilities, which are now being used by students for the first time include:

  • a six-court multi-discipline sports hall with viewing gallery together with a media suite with match analysis capability for UCEN Manchester’s Sport courses. A new 3G outdoor pitch with spectator area will open in 2022
  • a state-of-the-art hospital suite including a mock hospital ward with infectious disease area for students studying in the Health and Care professions.

The new Openshaw Campus facilities are a key part of UCEN Manchester’s estate’s transformation project, where the Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) contributed a £25m grant towards £139m total project costs. Local Growth Fund (LGF) is granted to Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPS) by the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities and LEPs play a vital role in driving forward economic growth across the country. 

Andy Burnham, Mayor of Greater Manchester, commented: “Young people have suffered a great deal in the pandemic. However as we come out of the pandemic, we can rebuild Greater Manchester and there are many opportunities out there for young people that we want to help them take advantage of. And I want to send a clear message to young people that we believe you and are backing you to succeed. 

“We are a young city region and we have big ambitions in the digital and the green economy. To achieve these ambitions, it is essential that we invest in young people and they need to be our priority for investment. This means giving people access to technical qualifications to learn skills that will make them highly employable in the Manchester economy.

“This also means connecting young people with businesses. We want young people to have skills that are relevant in the real world so the closer colleges get to businesses the better. This is all about bringing young people through who are ready to work and know what to expect in the workplace and I think UCEN Manchester is an exemplar for doing this with businesses.”

The Mayor was joined at the opening by Olympian and Chair of Greater Manchester’s Youth Task Force Diane Modahl (MBE) who toured the new sport facilities. 

The opening event, which was attended by local councillors and MPs, featured an exhibition match between Sports students and members of the Manchester Magic basketball team in the new sports hall.

Lisa O'Loughlin, Principal of UCEN Manchester, commented:

We are delighted to have reached the first milestone in our estates transformation project with the completion of these amazing facilities in East Manchester.

“The new facilities closely mirror those that you would expect to find in the world of work and will provide the perfect learning environment for young people to acquire all the skills they require to go on to have a successful and rewarding career.   

“The investment in these facilities is strategically aligned with the needs of Greater Manchester in terms of skills and economic growth, giving students the best possible opportunity to receive a high-quality technical education that will lead into an aspirational and rewarding career that will ultimately enable them to achieve their full potential.

“Over the past few weeks, it has been fantastic to see students’ excitement as they have started their educational journey in these facilities and it has been amazing to see them proudly showing off both the new facilities and their skills to the Mayor this evening.”

The opening of the new facilities at Openshaw comes less than 12 months before UCEN Manchester will open their brand new £95m four-story campus right in the heart of Manchester next door to the AO Arena. 

City Campus Manchester will be home to UCEN Manchester’s Arden School of Theatre and Manchester Film School as well as the higher education providers Creative and Digital provision. 

City Campus Manchester will benefit one million Mancunians over the buildings’ lifetime, providing students of all ages with state-of-the-art, industry standard facilities from which a high-quality technical education can be delivered.