Salford University has signed a University Civic Agreement it says could see a rise in health and wellbeing for local citizens.

Professor Richard Stephenson, deputy vice-chancellor of the University of Salford, said he hopes the city will see the benefits of the agreement.

“There are cultural strategic hubs embedded within that masterplan. So we are seriously investing in that space and in placemaking.”

“For example, we’ve announced an £800m investment in a city masterplan with Salford City Council to look at the whole area around our campus and along Chapel Street.

He said the university is working with industry and citizens across the areas it offers for study.

Salford Mayor Paul Dennett welcomed the news as being good for the city.

He said: “University of Salford is an asset to the city and something we are very proud of. We are soon to launch a Learning City, a joint project between the Salford City Council, The Lowry Salford CVS, university and college to broaden learning in the community.”

The Mayor added: “The Industrial Collaboration Zones programme already sees the university collaborate with existing businesses in the city region. However, we can always do more and will continue to work together with all our partners to benefit residents in this wonderful city.”

Professor Helen Marshall at Salford is the first vice-chancellor in Greater Manchester to sign up to the scheme.

Many Russell group universities have also agreed to sign the new Civic University Agreement, however most of which are already located in much more affluent areas in comparison to Salford.

In the report, the commission, chaired by Lord Kerslake, former head of the civil service, sets out how universities have the capability, opportunity and responsibility to further support the places where they are based.

The report warns that there is a danger that any cut in university resources, such as a reduction in student fees without the deficit being made up with treasury funding will mean work already being done in this area could suffer.

Lord Kerslake said: “We are now entering a new industrial revolution when it will be even more vital that knowledge is accessible in as many communities as possible.”

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