Burnley football college to open new campus at Wembley

Lancashire Telegraph: Wembley Stadium and (inset) Chief executive Philip Wilson Wembley Stadium and (inset) Chief executive Philip Wilson

BURNLEY’S football business college is to open a second campus at Wembley Stadium.

Bosses from the UCFB College of Football Business will announce today that they have agreed a deal to open at the iconic stadium in September 2014.

But chief executive and provost Philip Wilson said Turf Moor would remain the ‘spiritual home’ of UCFB and said the higher education establishment had been welcomed into Burnley.

The Wembley campus, which will eventually see UCFB take on 2,000 students, will result in four lecture theatres, 16 seminar rooms and a 350-seat refectory being created inside the stadium, with the facilities overlooking the famous pitch.

Mr Wilson said: “Burnley is going to Wembley, the town should be very, very proud of the way it has welcomed UCFB. Burnley will always be the spiritual home of UCFB.

“We always wanted to open a campus in London and it has probably come about sooner than expected.

“We will be building up to around 2,000 students over the first five years, but we won’t be going over that as we have always said that the experience for the students is key and we want them to have that personal experience. The students at Burnley and those at Wembley will be given the chance to spend time at the other campus.”

The fees at the Wembley campus will be £9,000 per year, compared to £6,000 at Turf Moor, due to it being ‘more expensive’ to operate in London. Last summer UCFB were revealed as one of the establishments interested in moving in to the Olympic Stadium.

Mr Wilson: “We looked at the Olympic Stadium but Wembley is the iconic home of football so when the chance came up we had to take it.

“The FA are obviously onside and the deal we have is with Wembley National Stadium Limited, which is a wholly owned subsidiary of the FA. In total we will occupying around a quarter of the space at the stadium.”

A number of people with Burnley connections sit on the UCFB advisory board, including former Clarets chief executive Paul Fletcher, Burnley fan Alastair Campbell, Burnley MP Gordon Birtwistle and England women’s goalkeeper Rachel Brown, who was born in the town.

Former Clarets director Brendan Flood was also instrumental in the establishment of UCFB.

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