Our Partners

Manchester City FC

Manchester City Football Club is one of the world’s leading football clubs with ambitious plans for growth. It is a major employer in the area.

The football club has built a deep and lasting relationship with the communities across Manchester since the late 1800s, when the club that became MCFC was founded by the Connell family as part of the wider social offer “to combat worthlessness, antisocial behaviour and crime”.

Over the past decade, it has re-established firm roots within East Manchester and the ‘City in the Community’ programme continues to be recognised as one of the best sports-related community programmes in the country.

Manchester City oversees ‘City in the Community’, which provides the college with high-quality football coaches for our sports courses.


The Co-op is one of Manchester’s biggest employers. It has been based in the region from the very beginning, 1844 – when the Rochdale Pioneers started what we now know as the Co-op.

Our Co-op is one of the world’s largest consumer co-operatives, owned by millions of members. It’s the UK’s fifth biggest food retailer with more than 2,500 local, convenience and medium-sized stores.

As well as having clear financial and operational objectives and employing nearly 70,000 people, it’s a recognised leader for social goals and community-led programmes. Co-op exists to meet members’ needs and stand up for the things they believe in.

So, the more successful the Co-op is, the more it can give back to you and your local community. That’s why the Co-op is different.

Currently the business is known for its Food, Funeralcare, Insurance, Legal Services and Health businesses.

In 2010 it launched the Co-op Academies Trust, which is now one of the countries most successful Multi-academy Trusts. Connell joined the Trust in 2019.

The University Campus of Football Business

The University Campus of Football Business (UCFB) are proud partners of Connell Co-op College and offer world first university degrees in the football and sports industry.

University Campus of Football Business (UCFB) support us by providing access to a specialist programme of guest speakers both at Connell and at UCFB Etihad Campus. UCFB offers our students bespoke taster days, giving them the chance to experience what it might be like to study a degree focussed on the global football and sports industries. UCFB also support us with providing guidance to students on Student Finance and the UCAS application process ahead their journey into higher education.    

As our partnership grows from strength to strength, we also offer unique opportunities for Connell students to visit our iconic Wembley and Etihad campus locations to get a true feel for University life. Alongside touring our iconic facilities, this also provides the opportunity for students to engage with our LMA guest speaker series, which have recently seen the likes of exclusive presentations hosted by Alan Shearer, Roy Keane and Rachel Yankey.

UCFB have a representative on hand to offer advice for any Connell student who wants to know more about progression onto a UCFB Degree programme. Please contact the UCFB Regional Recruitment Manager, Samuel Dunn, who will be more than happy to help.

For more information, please visit www.ucfb.ac.uk


PIE have been working with Connell since 2019, supporting learners to become ‘Future Ready’. We are a social enterprise who work throughout the North West to support learners to develop skills, and gain experiences and opportunities outside of the classroom. .Our programmes aim to develop the five PIE slices: Communication, Digital, Project Management, Community and Cultural Capital. All of our programmes run within the college timetable, and are adapted to suit the needs of different groups and of individuals. 

Students who participate benefit by having the opportunity to develop all of the PIE slices. This includes having the opportunity to plan and run a real world social action project which helps to make a difference to the Connell community. This is done through the creation of digital campaigns, including learning about how to utilise social media platforms for change.  Previous student led projects have led to changes such as free sanitary products being available within college, and an increase in the variety of extra curricular activities..The opportunity to work on a real time project not only helps to develop vital skills, but also offers students the chance to build up their CV, personal statements and UCAS applications.

Further opportunities offered as part of PIE programmes include the development of digital skills through the completion of the iDEA Award certification, and the chance to visit local workplaces and take part in additional career events. 

Manchester Metropolitan University

MMU are an established local provider with a broad offering. They have an access programme which is advertised to our students. Students who meet their access requirements can apply to the programme which supports them in Year 12 and Yearr 13 with applying to university.

If students then choose to study at MMU they can access additional ongoing support in the form of mentoring and financial aid.

University Academy 92

We work with UA92 throughout the year on careers events, parent events and classroom enrichment. We have the opportunity to visit their facilities where they deliver taster sessions so that our students can understand what it might be like to study with them.

They also support us by providing guest lecturers so that our students can explore curriculum content beyond the bounds of their level 3 qualification. This helps them to get ready for the next phase of their learning journey. UA92 also offers the ‘Make it for real’ opportunity where students can receive funding towards their study and living costs. Connell students can have direct support with making an application to this program.

Co-op Academies Trust, 1 Angel Square, Manchester, M60 0AG

Company registration number: 07747126
Telephone: 0161 692 4309
email: admin@coopacademies.co.uk

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0161 231 9200