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New Queen's Student Union opening due in 2022/23 after planning application approved by council

4th Oct 2019

Belfast City Council Planning Committee has ratified approval of a planning application for the New Student Centre at Queen’s University.

The new building will bring together the Students’ Union and student support teams, providing a ‘student home’ at the heart of the campus for the 24,000-student body.

Hawkins\Brown and local architect RPP have designed the New Student Centre as part of Queen’s University’s long-term vision to develop state-of-the-art facilities across the university estate.

The building is fully embedded into the campus and Queen’s Conservation Area, establishing a focal point at the epicentre of life on campus by bringing together the Students’ Union and student support teams, along with new facilities to enhance the student experience.

The four-storey building will provide a central location for all non-faculty services on campus, including the SU, student guidance, informal learning zones, club rooms, supporting offices, multi-purpose hall, SU Bar, catering and retail outlets.

A generous and flexible entrance space makes the New Student Centre open and permeable for students, staff and visitors to flow through and use.

Julia Roberts, project partner, said: “The New Student Centre will provide a real home from home on campus, particularly for those students who commute into Belfast daily.

"The large social stair draws students up through the building, showcasing and creating the accessible, approachable and valuable services Queen’s University has on offer. The interiors are mature and reflect a more co-working environment way of working.”

SDLP Botanic Councillor Gary McKeown has welcomed the approval of plans for a new students’ centre at Queen’s University.

Councillor McKeown said: “The old students’ union, while not the most attractive building in the area, has been the hub of student life at Queen’s for decades. However, it was built for a different era when the student population was much smaller, so the new plans will enable a new union to be provided, offering a modern space that’s fit for purpose and can meet the needs of today’s students.”

Councillor McKeown, who was once Chair of the Queen’s University branch of the SDLP, added: “While the new plans are very exciting, it’s fair to say that generations of graduates will miss the old building. Many political careers were built at Queen’s, and I first got involved in politics when I joined the SDLP in the students’ union.

"However, with the green light for the new development, hopefully this will enable future generations of students to get active in clubs and societies and hold events in state-of-the-art facilities. The new student centre will also offer shops and services for students, and will include landscaping of surrounding grounds and provision of solar panels, which is a very welcome contribution to sustainability. There will also still be a Mandela Hall.”

Source: Belfastlive