Multi-million pound refurbishment

The proliferation of high street bars with their drinks deals and promotions is directly affecting students’ union bars around the country. Fortunately there is a way of fighting back. The newly opened bars at Newcastle Students’ Union are a fantastic example.

An £8 million refurbishment of the main building, which began in November 2010, has transformed the interior of one of the University’s most iconic buildings and significantly improved services for students. The building work saw all six floors given a full refurbishment and new facilities added.

The Union building hosts both the 225 capacity Mens bar and 1200 capacity Venue bars to cater for students day and night, all requiring a variety of both alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks. Both are fully equipped with IMC’s Bartender stainless steel underbar system

The IMC equipment in all the venues, installed by KCM Catering Equipment, enabled the creation of a functional bar environment incorporating dedicated workstations for each member of bar staff. The highlight of the installation being the ground floor Venue bar, at 50m in length it is certainly the longest bar in Newcastle if not the UK!

The First Award of Many

Following the opening, Newcastle University Students’ Union was entered into the National Mixology Interior Design Awards and was soon announced as the Winner of the Education Interior Design Award 2011, at a prestigious ceremony at the Palace Hotel, Manchester.

The NUSU architects Faulkner Brown, and lead designer Alistair Stripp, were on hand to receive the award. NUSU President, Laura Perry, said “This is a fantastic time to be President of the Union, and this award shows that the experts in the industry recognise what a fantastic facility we have delivered for our students”. NUSU Chief Executive, Simon Gerry, followed up by saying, “This award recognises the time, effort and detail that was put into the project. There were some fabulous ideas put forward throughout and we looked to capture the very best of them. It is very gratifying to have the results recognised by the best the industry has to offer”.

The use of stainless steel modules enabled KCM and IMC to design a far more creative and attractive solution than would otherwise been possible, while giving individual bar staff extra space

Not just a Student Bar

Gary Barnabas, Product Manager of Bar Systems at IMC explains, “Fundamental to the success of every business is the ability to adapt and evolve, and students’ union bars are no exception. The latest bar equipment enables managers not only to improve staff efficiency and productivity, but also to enhance the students’ experience and thus keep them coming back for more”.