Meet the acting Principal of Manchester College this morning, partly for a catch up on the college's current development plans, partly to discuss the lack of progress in making satisfactory post-16 provision for Cheetham and Crumpsall. The Further Education review that led to the creation of a single Manchester college, identified two areas of the city where provision needed to be strengthened, Wythenshawe and North West Manchester. Great and very welcome progress has been made in Wythenshawe where the final phase of the magnificent Brownley Road site opens this September. In the meantime, through no fault of the college, proposals for a new centre on the site of the former Boddingtons brewery have collapsed.
In addition provision has been moved from Abraham Moss to a far less accessible ( from the Cheetham and Crumpsall point of view ) centre in Moston, with the net impact that Cheetham and Crumpsall are even more under provided for. Given they way post-16 education is now being funded, finding a solution will not be easy, but the current situation is completely unacceptable.Then a city centre issue. The 1997 post-bomb master plan identified the pedestrianisation of Victoria Street as a key project. There were a lot of other things that needed to be done before this could be achieved, but they are now all pretty much in place which should allow the pedestrianisation, initially on a trial basis, to begin later this year. Even then there will still be one major scheme from that master plan to be delivered and we are working on it !