Hall bars are to close and be repurposed


By Benjamin Salmon, Deputy News Editor

Hall bars at the University are to close their doors for the final time, an email sent to first-year students has revealed.

Halls of Residence bars are set to be replaced by new spaces that will be decided as a result of a consultation among current students in halls.

A University spokesperson attributed the decision to lack of use: ‘The hall bars had been significantly under-utilised for a number of years which prompted a consultation exercise in 2018 about their future.

‘Using the consultation, Food for Thought survey and the most recent performance data, a paper was tabled at Student Experience Committee in November 2019 to confirm both the closure of the bars and this consultation on how to repurpose the spaces.

‘As a result, it has been recommended that the bars should be closed and their space repurposed.’

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After dinner drinks

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The proposals will seek to replace the current bars with larger bars in five destinations: Hiatt Baker, Senate House, a refurbished Balloon Bar, Clifton Hill House and the new Temple Quarter Campus.

These bars will be set to open at varying times – as early as the next academic year for the Senate House Bar and as late as September 2023 for Temple Quarter Campus bar.

While these bars are being developed, interim bars will be used in both the North and West Residential Villages (Stoke Bishop and Clifton).

The University believes the new proposals will provide the ‘perfect opportunity for students to tell us what they want to see in their hall and really inform the future look and feel of the spaces, to make them vibrant and exciting places where students want to relax and socialise.’

Winnie Thomas, a second-year Classics student and former bar staffer in Wills Hall said: ‘It doesn't come as a shock. Nevertheless, it is incredibly disappointing.

‘The halls will lose any individual character the bars provided, alongside the social aspect that their presence provided.

‘Certain bars have been losing money but the Hiatt Baker bar wasn't used enough as it was and the decision to re-do it seems like a mistake.’

Featured image credit: Epigram / Hannah Worthington

Do you think the bars should be closed? Let us know!