How Our Finances Work

We're committed to operating in a transparent way so that you, our members, can understand how your Union is run. A large part of this is around our finances and how we make decisions that affect you, so we're proud to announce our Value For Money project that is dedicated to doing just that.

Give me the lowdown

It costs around £1.4m per year to run the charitable side of the Union (including our representation, advice and student opportunities activity). This includes staff and non-staff costs, as well as the less obvious stuff like keeping our buildings up to scratch and IT services.

To fund this we get an annual grant from the College of around £850k, which means we need to generate the rest ourselves. We do this through external sales to companies for advertising and attending events like Freshers' Fair and our weekly market days, but around £350k needs to be generated in contribution from our trading services (the shop, our bars and events).

How is the contribution generated

A balance needs to be struck between ensuring that we have enough funding for our core services, while providing you with great services and good value. When you spend money at the shop, buy tickets for our events or spend money at our bars, most of that money is spent on buying the stock, paying the acts and running the outlets themselves, but a small proportion contributes to funding the Union's other activites.

As a charity, we are not for profit, and every penny we generate goes back into improving what we do for you. Every time you purchase a sandwich in the Union Shop, for example, contributes to the over £100,000 of funding we provide clubs and societies. Or every VK you buy helps fund our Advice Centre, which fights for students on a daily basis on academic and housing issues.

Want to try it for yourself and understand some of the decisions we have to make? Head on over to the webpage and see the impact of raising/reducing the cost of services across the SU and the impact this might have on our budgets.

Tell me more

If you're interested in more detail about our recent financial results, you can check out our Annual Report and Accounts via the Charity Commission website. These will be formally presented to the AGM on  Tuesday 20 February, so come along is you have any questions.

Also keep an eye out for more news stories this week.