Kingston Student Union has cut its losses by half during the last financial year after making savings of £56,540.
This significant cut is largely due to a 23 per cent increase in income at the Space Bar on Penrhyn Road Campus, which amounted to £32,000. The increase is largely due to more drinks being sold, improved advertising, and students organising their own social evenings at the bar.
President of the union, TJ Esubiyi, said: “I’m very happy to see the work our Commercial Services staff have put in over the course of the last year to ensure that we’ve been able to keep our costs down and place in a good position to move forward in this climate of cuts.”
The union was also able to make a significant profit from Fresher’s Fayre, the total of which amounted to £11,000 more than in the previous year.
The students union is majority funded by a grant from the University and as education cuts loom the University has suggested it might cut that grant.
The union’s General Manager Mark Horne, said: “Our aim is to make operational efficiency savings this year without any reduction in services.”
He added: “We don’t believe front line services will be affected as long as cuts are less than around 7.5 per cent.”
Mr Horne acknowledged that if the university does force the union to make cuts, “none of our services are… guaranteed a future.” Significantly, free independent support and representation will not be affected.
There has been some concern amongst students that the union will be forced to close its student bars.
One second year student said: “It feels like everything is being hit so hard; I spend a lot of my free time in the Space Bar and would hate for it to close because of the cuts.”
But with the Space Bar making such a considerable profit for the union, staff can “pretty much guarantee bars are safe for a while.”
Mr Horne added: “All of our venue managers have put their considerable expertise into reviewing our services, and last year’s improvements show that improvements can be made.”
The union will publish a final external review by the end of this month which will allow them to make further recommendations about what measures can be put in place to review the effectiveness of their bars.