University and Union collaborate to expand student facilities across campus

Over the past few months the University of Derby’s Estates Development Team and the Union of Students have been working very closely together to create something new and exciting on campus.

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Basecamp - new student space on campus

University and Union collaborate to expand student facilities across campus

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Over the past few months the University of Derby’s Estates Development Team and the Union of Students have been working very closely together to create something new and exciting on campus. As a result of this collaborative and student focused work, we are happy to announce that a new social café space is being developed ready for launch in early February.

From the 15th of November work will begin transforming the old Academy Bar into a light and welcoming space where both staff and students can work, socialise, book meeting room spaces - and grab some food and drink. The space will house a number of functional and decorative plants, which will purify the air and create an ‘inside outside’ feel.

The exciting new development will host a variety of options for seating, whether students need a quiet space to focus on upcoming deadlines – or get together to work through a group brief. Furniture will include comfortable sofas and contemporary work benches, private meeting rooms and an accessible service counter.

Andrew Bevan, Head of Property Development at the University of Derby, told us,

It’s a pleasure working with the Union of Students to deliver such an exciting new space – one that will really enhance the experience of staff and students alike. The new space will be a great place to meet, study or just grab a coffee and watch the world go by.

By expanding the excellent work that took place on the upper level of the Academy bar, the aim is to create a relaxed destination space where all drinks will be served in mugs to encourage a welcoming ‘stay and study’ atmosphere and reduce our reliance on single-use plastics. Cakes, toasties, paninis, jacket potatoes and flatbreads - that can be served quickly and easily – will also compliment the comfortable, contemporary feel.

Martin Beaumont, Head of Operations at the Union adds,

We’ve been so excited to release further details around this development, having captured student voice and insight about how students currently use space on campus – and what they need to really succeed.

Over the years, the Academy bar has played host to the likes of Big Narstie, The Wombats, Fightstar and Lethal Bizzle and been one of the region’s most popular touring venues, and student club night destinations. In recent times, Unions across the country have experienced a shift in student behaviour – choosing barista coffee and high-speed internet over sticky dancefloors and pints for a pound. Students at Derby fed back that their priorities for a new space would be ‘plug sockets, healthy food, cold drinks and bookable rooms’, ‘comfortable and supportive seating’ and ‘an uplifting atmosphere’.

The task force made up of the University and Union staff have worked in consultation with office fit out and refurbishment project specialists, Overbury.

Further details of the project will be released in the run up to the launch.

Comments

Amber Page
4:04pm on 2 Dec 21 Sorry, but this is so disappointing. There are 4 cafes already in place to get coffee and socialise - blends, starbucks, subway and the food court. Considering Kedleston is out of the centre there aren't many places to get a drink other than the pub which obviously doesn't adhere to a student-friendly budget. What university doesn't have a student bar?
Anon Ymous
4:06am on 30 Nov 21 Also this website needs to be fixed so that I can have blank lines between paragraphs .
Anon Ymous
4am on 30 Nov 21 "Over the years, the Academy bar has played host to the likes of Big Narstie, The Wombats, Fightstar and Lethal Bizzle and been one of the region’s most popular touring venues, and student club night destinations. In recent times, Unions across the country have experienced a shift in student behaviour – choosing barista coffee and high-speed internet over sticky dancefloors and pints for a pound. Students at Derby fed back that their priorities for a new space would be ‘plug sockets, healthy food, cold drinks and bookable rooms’, ‘comfortable and supportive seating’ and ‘an uplifting atmosphere’." This feels out of touch with the student populous, students are going out in masses, as for many this year is their first chance to go out as an adult thanks to Covid-19. The union bar in derby isn't popular because it's out of the way, it isn't near most of the halls or the majority of student accommodation, therefore it receives little foot traffic and so the bar cannot operate efficiently. ________ I don't disagree with the new use of the space but using this as reasoning seems disingenuous, especially when 67 bridge street has been unused/underutilised and could in fact be used to sell 'Pints for a pound" to encourage pre drinks in the space or near by halls common rooms. ________ P.S. Reminder that derby uni owns the unused building at the end of nuns street that could be turned into an academy bar/club.
Nicola Lambert
7:44pm on 11 Nov 21 It sounds like a great idea, as long as the eateries are appropriately staffed and serve something different to what is already on offer!
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