New year, new opportunities

In the last update I looked forward to work which was being undertaken to prepare LUU for the new academic year, and to advance us in directions beyond the confines of the first stage of the Union Upgrade.

I can now happily announce that planning permission has been given for our South Entrance plans – a significant aspect of the project. In the last few weeks we’ve seen the changes made to Stylus, where the partition wall is to be installed and the stage space has been widened. This has created a multifunctional space where we’ll be able to keep the energy of the venue for our Fruity and our live event programme, but also allow groups to rehearse and perform in an alternative setting during the Upgrade works.

Alongside this (but a few floors up) the work on the Balcony has sped forward, and the opening of our new café space on the 21st of September is eagerly anticipated. Not only is this a great opportunity for student leadership and offering new employability opportunities, but it broadens our catering offering – the sharper design gives a fun contrast to the Hidden Café. Again, this space can be considered an extension of areas our groups can now make use of into the evenings for suitable events or meetings.

We are currently in the middle of the procurement process for two aspects of our main refurbishment work. The tender process for the main contractor has begun and also to appoint an interior design contractor. The designer will take the architecture of our project and blend it with the features that make LUU great – strong design, functionality of space, and a building which our members love. Once they are chosen we’ll be looking for staff and students to have a huge input into this process. If you’re interested in being a part of this then keep an eye on the blog, where we’ll be calling for participants in working groups.

The start of the new academic year will be a busy time throughout LUU, but we’re looking forward to introducing the Union Upgrade plans to a new cohort of students at the end of the process. In the meantime, the sun is still shining (showing we’ve a little bit of summer left to go) and the new roof garden and planting on the Terrace is blooming!

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