News

Medicine Refurb Gets Green Light

We are delighted to announce that the planned refurbishment of Medicine is set to commence next month following confirmation that the College will be providing circa £600,000 of funding to complete the project.

The news is a huge boost to the Students’ Union and campus life as a whole, highlighting the College’s strong commitment to the Union and investment in the student experience.

The planned works will take six to eight weeks to complete and see Medicine unveiled ready for Freshers’ Festival in September 2018. It’s not just our nightlife offering that will be benefited; we will also be able to offer a high-quality events space that can be used for many other activities, with a particular focus on day time utilisation.

Following consultation with students over the past two years on the matter, and looking at what needs to change, we are now ready to get to work on creating a venue that really meets the needs of those at the heart of it: you, the students.

The Rationale Behind The Refurbishment

The Students’ Union has seen vast changes over the past few years. For example, improvements have been evident in the rebrand of the organisation, the complete building reconfiguration, transformation of the Union Venue’s outside space and the opening of The Packhorse. We recognised that Medicine was in desperate need of modernisation to keep up with the progress we’ve made.

Medicine closed its doors on 23 March and back in April, we informed you of our plans to make it look brand-spanking new, ready for the next academic year. Let’s be honest, after 10 years of service and more than a few spilled VK’s, the home of ‘Toast’ was looking a bit sorry for itself and longing for a fair bit of TLC to give you the quality venue you deserve.

Here’s what we hope the refurbishment will achieve:

To create a high-quality events space

Due to Royal Holloway’s location, there is little late-night entertainment available locally. Because of this, we recognise that it is important for us to deliver a high-quality events programme to compensate for the lack of student nightlife in the area.

Over the past ten years, Medicine has been an essential additional venue for students, and without it, our evening programme would become considerably more boring. This project aims to renovate Medicine as a venue to ensure that we can keep up with industry standards, comparable to other competitors.

To increase the flexibility for wider use

We want to make sure that student groups can use high-quality spaces on campus for their activities, so we intend to make sure that Medicine becomes more flexible for wider use. For example, improving the space for performing arts productions, comedy shows, and live music.

We also want to make sure that the space can be used by you and your student groups without staffing costs being incurred, something that we know is a big frustration on your part. 

CGI images of plans for the Medicine refurbishment.

Key Points

  • The bar will be upgraded and secured, allowing groups to book the space for free – as we won’t have to pay staff to be in the venue.
  • The dance floor will be expanded, creating a large flat space suitable for student groups, performances, shows and smaller gigs.
  • The décor will be upgraded, with new furniture, lighting and sound system.
  • The beer garden will be re-landscaped, with a new surface and better pathway put in for easier access.

The layout is designed to improve the operation of the space, without reducing the capacity. Stumble Out will be retained as an extension to the venue for the next two years (with some repairs and redecoration performed over the summer) until we identify a long-term replacement that fits your needs. We’ll be working with the College on that front once the Medicine refurbishment is complete.

We hope you are as thrilled by the news as we are, and we will of course keep you up to date with the progress being made on our website and social media channels.

Indicative plans for the outside space.

Rate Your Union

As part of our ongoing commitment to enhancing student life at Royal Holloway, we love to know your thoughts on how we’re doing. On Friday 18 May, our annual Rate Your Union survey will be going live – this is your chance to have your say on the function of the SU and allows us to act upon any areas highlighted for improvement.

This year’s survey includes a section dedicated to our Trading Services (think club nights, The Packhorse and our Union Bus service etc.) Make sure you let us know what you like, what you don’t like and what you would like to see more of. We really do listen to what you say, allowing you to shape the future of your university experience.

Make sure you keep an eye out for our daily prizes that will be on offer, including a mystery grand prize, all for completing a quick survey. Not bad eh?!