The new building forms a key part of UWE’s (The University of the West of England) Masterplan, which aims to satisfy UWE Bristol’s changing needs over the next 25 years with a range of building proposals supported by the necessary infrastructure.
The new £6.6 million Students’ Union will be two interlinked buildings comprising approximately 3,000 square metres. It will provide brand new vibrant spaces to enhance the work of student reps, volunteering, societies, sports and networks for students in a multi-purpose student engagement/social area, as well as a café, bar, shop and a bookable studio space.
There will also be outdoor landscaped space and a courtyard which can be used as additional space with marquees for major annual events such as Freshers’.
BAM Construction are the lead contractors and have appointed Stride Treglown as lead Architects. JDL Consultants are the civil and structural engineers with F P Hurley designing and installing the building services. A number of other designers and contractors will also work on the project.
The new building will bring all SU services in one accessible location so that students will easily be able to find the services they need. Facilities are currently spread over several floors in the existing building. In the new facilities the Job shop, Student Lettings service and student advice will be located in purpose built facilities which will benefit students.
Fitted into the contours of the site the building will blend in with the existing landscape and provide frontage onto the new Plaza. A number of new trees and shrubs will be planted and a wildflower meadow created alongside the building and external bar terrace.
For the Students’ Union, the new provision is not just about bricks and mortar, it also plays a key role in forging a clear identity for the Students’ Union.
SU President Charlie Roper said: “We have worked closely with the University executive and the project managers in order to deliver the best possible space for both current and future students. The new Students’ Union is a modern, clearly identifiable space, at what will be the heart of the campus. We have loads of societies, sports clubs and student networks that organise events, and this space will provide them with the opportunity to develop and grow. It’s a really exciting time for students at UWE, and we are proud that the new Students’ Union will be pivotal in making sure we make a difference to students’ lives.”
Vice-Chancellor Steve West added: “It is really exciting for us to be at the beginning of this new phase for the University. This Centre is about putting students at the heart of our thinking and will provide a vibrant and attractive environment for them to engage fully with the SU and what it has to offer. We are committed to providing the best possible facilities for our students and this is a key strategic building in our vision for the future of the University.”