It’s all change at The Union

With crumbling foundations and non-functioning sewers, the Union has done the dirty with Trinity to  net an impressive £4.5 million for improvements.

Trinity will lease some of the Grade II listed building, including some old cottages from the Union – after a report found the “rotting” timber and “subsiding” mess left after years of neglect.

Whist Amy Gregg, the Union President, says “regular operation” will not be affected, the plans include two new bars, a cafe and ever increasing hospitality options. One bar will be students-only, in a move clearly designed to impress Whose University?.

tab - union plans 1

We don’t understand either


Bigger news, perhaps, is the erection of a new super-fence to keep out troublemakers round the back – details nicely slipped into their press release.

With government plans to stop extremists speaking in universities, it seems the Union is preparing to become a free-speech fortress. Whether speakers like Moazzam Begg, speaking in a few weeks time, would be allowed to appear is still not clear – but the Union is clearly taking no chances.

Don't worry - not everything will change

Don’t worry – not everything will change

An unnamed Union Officer said: “Apparently hosting a frank exchange of views now requires a bloody great gate. At least we get some decent new bars and the faces of our members might not meet so many armpits at Union socials”.

Will CUSU manage to scale the face? Has the Union finally lost it?

Probably neither.

  • To the Committee

    So with this investment will the public bar and improved facilities be able to generate the £200×2000= £400000/year to make membership free and if not with this level of investment, why not?

    • A Committee Members

      The money is being used to renovate the building, and in doing so stop it from quite literally falling down. I know ‘the building is falling down’ is thrown around by a lot of old institutions – but our one actually is.

      Generated revenue from the new facilities will be fed into the Union’s budget. We can’t speak for future committees – but the lowering of membership fees has always been a top priority for success Officers, but has never before been even remotely possible with the increasing need to fund security for speakers.

      Effectively: Trinity Money used to Fix Building. Fixing of Building includes renovating it and improving facilities. New facilities make more money. More money used for members’ interests.

      • Another Committee Member

        Remember that whilst making membership free would indeed cost £40,000 – that would last ONE year. As the budget is tri-divided in case of bad years, we would need to safeguard 3 years of no-fees. That’s £120,000.

        On top of this – the Union can’t scrap membership fees if it can’t guarantee them scrapped in the long term. Students wouldn’t accept it if they had to pay one year, but their college parents didn’t. Furthermore, whilst we could scrap them and then go for a graduated increase starting at, say, £20 – we would need to secure a long term plan for this to not cripple us in future years when our ‘big pot’ runs out and we don’t have the revenue generating power to sustain it.

        Ergo: Big pot of money could reduce membership fees to 0, but would soon run out. New revenue streams needed. See above for details of new revenue streams, which through their creation, stop the building falling down.

      • You could

        say that for anything. When is any of this going to come back to prospective members?

        • Committee Member (1)

          Well, no you couldn’t.

          Not many institutions do a casual structural survey and discover the floor is a few years away from caving in and thus have to rapidly accelerate plans for renovation, tie them in with surprise plans to keep the building up whilst maintaining a Grade II listed building, whilst already using a very tightly controlled and allocated budget.

          As soon as work is complete. It’s in the hands of the Council now – which will take as long as it takes.




  • Trinity Student

    What do we get out of this?

    • Committee Member

      Whilst this particular article isn’t big on the details – this is not a donation. Trinity have leased a large section of land owned by the Union, which is next to useless for us, but very useful for them

      I imagine they will announce in due course their plans for it.