Glasgow's Strathclyde University unveils new £60m home for Union which opens for freshers this week

By Sean Murphy

Students at Strathclyde University in Glasgow are in for a treat this week after the brand new home for their student Union was unveiled.

The building that is now home to the state-of-the-art Union cost £60m and replaces the old ten-floor building on Glasgow's John Street.

University of Strathclyde’s 23,000 strong campus will now be able to enjoy the Union which is based in the University’s new Learning and Teaching building and has been under development for five years.

The new, repurposed building, formerly the Colville Building, is ready to welcome students and provides a more accessible, student-friendly experience with brand new facilities.

The new-look food offering (

The team behind the design has created an interior that brings the outside in, enabling students to socialise among trees and plants whatever the weather meaning students can enjoy a pint and pizza on picnic tables laid across AstroTurf, oblivious to the wind and rain outdoors.

A place for students to unwind, the new Union will offer everything from bao buns, flatbreads and noodle dishes to classics like pizza, fish and chips and burgers.

Beer fans can sample a host of Scottish favourites from Tennent’s, Innis & Gunn and Drygate.

The stylish interior (

The building also offers entertainment including pool, smart darts, Bluetooth headphone powered movie nights, live football and a programme of music in the works that will continue Strath Union’s tradition of booking huge names like Elton John, Calvin Harris and Frightened Rabbit.

Built with sustainability to the fore, the building utilises recycled materials where possible, creating what they say is a "lived-in feeling of comfort" to the new space.

Built around existing structures and repurposing materials, Strath Union will also host a Zero Waste Shop where students can purchase environmentally friendly items, and even collect some for free.

The shop will include reusable sanitary products, cleaning products and a rotational showcase of sustainable brands from Scotland and beyond.

Entertainment includes pool and smart darts (

Speaking about the brand new Union, Benn Rapson, Student Exec President at Strath Union, said: “Strath Union is where everything happens on campus, and we can’t wait for our students to experience the new union building in all its glory. It looks amazing and is brimming with things to see, do, eat, drink and more.

"We’ve been developing the spaces for five years now, and we know our students are going to love it.

"The old building at John Street holds a special place in the hearts of many, which was evident from all of the amazing memories posted on social media when we announced its closure last month! Richmond Street has big shoes to fill, but we’re absolutely certain it’s up to the task."

He added that they've put a number of Covid prevention measures in place to ensure students can return to campus safely and responsibly.

He said: "We want our students to get the best out of the new Union without having to worry, so we’ve taken all the necessary steps to ensure we’re going above and beyond current guidance.”

Safety measures put in place for Freshers’ Week and beyond include operating at a reduced capacity, cashless ordering, Track and Trace, mandatory face masks when moving around the building, QR code ordering and multiple lateral flow tests per week for staff.

Additionally, the Union is running a campaign, fronted by the Student Executive, promoting “Immunity for the Community” aimed at encouraging students to get double vaccinated to protect themselves and those around them.

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