We have agreed to form a joint project team to develop proposals for designing and funding a world class student facility. LSU has already undertaken a lot of preliminary thinking about what is needed and we will want to use this as the basis for wide ranging consultation with our members, staff and other partners within and beyond the University and College.
We will also want to research other recent Students’ Union developments to learn and literally build on their experience.
Looking to the future doesn’t mean that we will stop keeping our building up to date for our current members, last year saw us undertake a number of minor refurbishments to the popular Piazza/Cognito coffee
and food facilities – most notably installing a big screen and upgrading furniture.
Next year we plan to re-purpose the outdated JC’s sports bar replacing it with a food-led lounge type facility and improving our external drinking and social areas.
We also aim to create a new area of the building to celebrate Loughborough’s sporting heritage and as social home for our sports people.
We have made the decision in line with our values to pay all staff the government living wages and permanent staff the Living Wage. This will have a significant cost in excess of £85k over the course of the year and we are grateful to the University in supporting these moves in their grant to LSU.
The recognition of the value of the partnership between LSU and Loughborough University remains at the heart of the Loughborough student experience.
The Union faced a challenging year financially with reduced net income as a result of taking a cautious approach to revenues in the light of our disputed VAT treatment of fundraising activities and adjustments to our general grant income from the University. This required savings or extra income of c£250k roughly 10% of our total core budget.
A combination of staff savings, efficiency gains and strong commercial income performance led by contactless card acceptance on all tills has meant that we have had a very successful financial year.