KU’s Student Union bar to be removed permanently

Kingston University’s main SU bar is to be demolished and may never be replaced, according to Union senior management.

Alex Sunier

 Kingston University’s main SU bar is scheduled to be demolished as part of a University refurbishment project and may never be replaced, according to Union senior management.

The Penryhn Road campus Space Bar is to be demolished along with the rest of Town House as part of an £80m project the university is undertaking to revamp the campus.

However, due to Space Bar’s lack of popularity, the Vice-Chancellor may deem rebuilding it unnecessary.

General manager of the Student Union, Mark Horne said: “If it’s not seen as a popular service, there is every chance that the university might say we don’t need a bar in the new building.”

Over recent years Space Bar has only ever filled to capacity during Freshers’ week, the Thursday night comedy sessions and monthly sport society socials.

KU student, Amelia Watkins, 21, studying exercise health and nutrition, said: “It’s good that there’s a Subway there.

“Usually it’s a bit dirty and there’s no where to sit.” 

One of the reasons identified as to why the Space Bar is underused is that many students at Penryhn Road commute from outside Kingston, as well as a number of KU students do not drink for religious reasons.

Mr Horne and the SU fear that without enough interest from students the university may scrap the bar entirely.

He said: “KUSU is in the unfortunate position of effectively being on a year’s notice in Town House with the start of the demolition of Town House being scheduled for some point between September 2013 and March 2014.”

Mr Horne explained it was not financially viable to make significant changes to Space Bar’s current dated interior if it would be closed in 12 months’ time but that general fittings, fixtures and equipment will still be replaced when necessary.

However, the university’s stakeholder engagement manager, Deirdre Ferrier, said they would be taking students’ opinions and suggestions into account.

She said: “Before any decisions are made, we are asking students and staff for their thoughts on a vision for the site and what they would like to see in a new building if we were to build one.”

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