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Town in fear of economic slump

THE proposed closure of Alsager's university campus has sparked fears of an economic disaster for the town.

THE proposed closure of Alsager's university campus has sparked fears of an economic disaster for the town.

University bosses have decided to shut Manchester Metropolitan University's base in Alsager in favour of making a major investment in the Crewe campus.

But it means 2,800 students based at Alsager will gradually leave, taking with them much-needed business. Pubs, shops and cafe owners fear they will suffer a massive slump in takings.

The news has devastated many residents and business owners in Alsager.

County councillor Derek Bould said: 'I feel gutted that we have been so badly let down.

'I honestly don't think they have given any thought to the community, and looked no further than selling a valuable asset to generate money be spent in other areas.

'Around 200 residents attended a meeting during the consultation period and the vast majority of them were very strongly opposed to the site closing down.

'I also visited businesses in the area, and all but one said they would be greatly affected. Some said they would have to go if the university did because the students bring in around 70% of their income.'

Cllr Bould said many landlords would also lose out.

He added: 'In excess of 200 properties in Alsager are used for student accommodation. The effect on the housing market could be dramatic.

'Many people also associated with the campus have homes in Alsager and may need to move to keep their jobs.

'In addition, many people may lose their jobs. Villagers work there too, not just in academic but domestic roles.

'What has angered me is that when they first came they said Alsager was the jewel in their crown. Now the people in Alsager just feel cheated.'

University bosses took the decision in order to create a more vibrant university atmosphere at Crewe, which has excellent rail and motorway links for those attending facility from out of the area.

The move will mean a large-scale investment in the Crewe site.


David Holmes
Chief News Reporter
David Norbury
Mike Fuller
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