Lancashire Cricket Club has entered into a multi-year partnership with University Academy 92 (UA92), the brainchild of former Manchester United footballers Gary and Phil Neville, Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes and Nicky Butt.

UA92 will serve as the official higher education partner of Lancashire Cricket, with the university set to be based at the Kellogg’s building next to the club’s Emirates Old Trafford stadium as part of the deal.

The facility will be refurbished and modernised ahead of the university’s opening in September 2019 and more than 6,000 students are expected to be studying at UA92 by 2024.

UA92 has been developed in partnership with Lancaster University and has been spearheaded by the ex-United players, who are known as the Class of 92.

As part of the agreement, Lancashire, along with Microsoft and other UA92 partners, will co-develop the curriculum ahead of the university’s launch next year. Students will also be given the chance to take up internship roles at Emirates Old Trafford across fields such as media, content, marketing, hospitality and events. A particular focus will be placed on content creation and online programming to drive engagement with cricket and Emirates Old Trafford across the North West region.

Emirates Old Trafford’s media facilities will also be renamed the UA92 Player & Media Centre. A host of events will be held on-site, including student recruitment days in the Point, Lancashire’s conference and event facility.

Gary Neville 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.”

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.”

Lancashire’s sales and marketing director, Justin Hopwood, said: “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, Emirates Old Trafford will host six Cricket World Cup matches, along with an Ashes Test between England and Australia.

TheStadiumBusiness Summit 2018 will be hosted at Emirates Old Trafford on 12-13 June 2018.

Image: Lancashire Cricket Club