Students’ Union update

It has been agreed that the University will purchase the land and building assets currently owned by Loughborough Students’ Union (LSU). This will allow the Students’ Union to concentrate on delivering the exceptional student experience for which it is renowned, without the considerable operational and financial challenges of running an ageing building.

The LSU building is more than 40 years old. Costs associated with running the building have risen considerably and at the same time income being generated has fallen. The Coronavirus pandemic, which saw LSU closed for a protracted period, has exacerbated an already difficult situation. LSU, despite recent restructuring and cost savings measures, are not able to fund the work necessary to meet the cost of ever exacting essential maintenance, health and safety and other compliance standards.

In practice it means that LSU will sell the following to the University: the main LSU building, the nursery building, Rutland Lodge, the Purple Onion, and the land on which they reside, including the car parks. The University will become LSU’s landlord and LSU will lease the building back from the University. 

Nothing will change in terms of the Students’ Union’s day-to-day activities - they will continue to be organised by LSU. The LSU Exec team, together with permanent members of staff, will continue to have complete autonomy in developing the work of the sections, as well as the services and entertainment programme that are delivered from the building for the students. There will be no change to LSU’s relationship with its sub-tenants (such as the shop and pharmacy).

There has been considerable discussion to get to this stage and ensure the deal is fair, and the deal has the full support of LSU Trustees and the wider leadership teams of the Union and University. The University and Students’ Union are in agreement that this development is the best and only way forward. 

The Students’ Union executive and members of staff at the Union have been informed, as have the tenant businesses within the building.

It is anticipated that the formal, legal processes will be complete in the next few months.