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The University of Manchester receives landmark donation from Lord Alliance

The University of Manchester receives landmark donation from Lord Alliance of Manchester – Business School to become ‘Alliance Manchester Business School’ in September 2015 following transformational donation

The University of Manchester has received a landmark donation for the future development of Manchester Business School from Lord Alliance of Manchester and his fellow Trustees of the Alliance Family Foundation, it was announced today.

The donation of £15m will be invested both in the School’s new building and to drive its research agenda forward.  Together this will enhance the learning experience for all students.

In recognition of this support and Lord Alliance’s long-standing relationship with the University and the Business School, the School will be named ‘Alliance Manchester Business School’ or ‘Alliance MBS’.  The naming comes at a pivotal moment for the School as it continues to attract more world leading researchers and teachers, prepares to celebrate its 50th anniversary and breaks ground on a new building.

Lord Alliance commented:  “Over many years I have followed with growing admiration and pride the development of Manchester as a world-class centre for business education and I am delighted to support the next major stage in its growth and development. Twenty years ago I instigated the bringing together of separate disciplines to create the Federal School of Management, the pre-cursor to MBS as it is today, of which I am very proud.  Manchester as a city has done so much for me and this is my opportunity to make a meaningful difference to the next generation of managers and entrepreneurs who will come to our superb business school to develop their leadership skills and contribute to the prosperity of our society in the future.”

Professor Dame Nancy Rothwell, President and Vice-Chancellor of The University of Manchester, said: “This announcement marks the culmination of decades of engagement and supportive partnership with Lord Alliance.  Today we honour with tremendous gratitude his long-held vision for the potential for a world-class business school to help power the economic development of the city and region. We are deeply proud to associate his name with MBS on campus and across its six global centres. The timing is perfect as the School embarks on its next 50 years, bolstered by a visionary new building for the School, which Lord Alliance and his Trustees are helping to make possible.”

Lord Alliance, one of the North West’s most successful businessmen, founded the international textile group Coats Viyella Plc (now Coats Plc) and currently serves as Non-Executive Director of Manchester-based N Brown Group, one of the UK’s leading internet and catalogue home shopping companies.

Lord Alliance has had a long-standing association with the Business School and the wider University.  He was made an Honorary Fellow of the University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology (UMIST) in 1988 and an Honorary LLD from the Victoria University of Manchester in 1989.

Professor Fiona Devine OBE, Head of Manchester Business School, said: “The donation made by Lord Alliance and the Alliance Family Foundation will support the biggest transformation the School has seen since it was established some 50 years ago. When we opened our doors in 1965, as pioneers of innovative business and management education, we could not have imagined that MBS would successfully grow to be the largest business school in the UK, with another six global centres across the world.  I am delighted that this gift will help us successfully look to the future on many fronts, by both supporting our research agenda as well as providing our students and colleagues with fantastic new facilities.”

Lord Alliance has been a long-term donor to both the University and MBS.  Prior to the combined University’s Foundation in 2004, Lord Alliance had been a generous supporter of the School of Management at UMIST.  Other previous giving priorities at the University have included the Law School, cultural assets, and international research partnerships across Life Sciences and Medical and Human Sciences.

The new name ‘Alliance Manchester Business School’ will officially come into effect in September 2015 at the start of the next academic year.

Dr Eddie Davies CBE, Chairman of Manchester Business School Advisory Board, said: “I myself have felt honoured to serve MBS through advice and philanthropy over many years. We all know of and have admired Lord Alliance’s belief in business education for the betterment of communities in Manchester and far beyond.  That he has chosen to make this extraordinary commitment speaks volumes for him as a business and civic leader, and for the quality of students, staff and leadership of MBS and the University.”

Professor Keith Brown, Vice-President and Dean, Faculty of Humanities, said: “This significant and generous donation from Lord Alliance provides a great opportunity for Manchester Business School to enhance its position as one of the leading Business Schools in the UK and Europe. In the year that it will celebrate its 50th anniversary, the renaming and investment in Research and a new building will signal a bright future for the School. As Vice-President and Dean of the Faculty of Humanities, I am delighted to see this investment which will, undoubtedly, bring benefits in terms of research and new facilities for our staff and students.”

Dr Rory Brooks, Chair of the University’s Global Leadership Board and donor to the University’s Brooks World Poverty Institute, commented:  “This is a wonderful, landmark benefaction.  It tells the world that you can get behind top quality research and education to make a difference to something that reflects your own priorities and values, and that Manchester’s globally-recognised University has the drive and ambition to be the perfect partner.”

Read more in the Financial Times >>