University steps up Union redevelopment investment


University plans for an improved Student’s Union may soon come to fruition. The University Court has agreed to invest over £400,000 for a detailed redesign of the building in St Mary’s Pace, with contingency for a £12 million budget for redevelopment if they accept the proposed designs.

Students of the University of St Andrews will soon be greeted upon entering the building by an exhibition detailing proposed plans for the new-look Union. The building has remained largely unchanged since the 1970s and, if the final designs are approved by the Court, work may start as soon as 2013 to bring the Union building into the 21st century.

Niall Scott, University Director of Corporate Communications, outlined some potential options for the redevelopment:

“There will be new venues, with the current Venue One split into two distinct spaces: a 420 person capacity flexible performance space and a 600 person capacity nightclub, with a lounge area for an additional 270 persons.

The lack of a ‘real nightclub’ in St Andrews could thus be remedied, and the ‘jack-of-all trades’ Venue One may be transformed into a more bespoke space for theatre, concerts, comedy and more.”

“The current Venue 2 could be revamped into a sky bar serving wine and cocktails, and aimed especially at postgraduate students,” Scott continued. An acoustic/sports bar located on the ground floor might replace the current ‘live venue’ functions of Venue 2.”

University Proctor, Professor Lorna Milne, said: “The University has to be extremely careful about the way it spends and commits money in this challenging and volatile economic climate, but the Union has long been a priority for us.”

Students’ Association President Patrick O’Hare, welcomed the news, saying: “The sabbaticals, the architects and project board have been working very hard over the past few months to develop a vision for the state-of-the-art Union which students deserve.

“Investment in the Students’ Association building is long overdue, and I’m convinced that the design we have addresses many of the long-term gaps in provision of the Student Experience.

The plans will be on show in the Union foyer soon.


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