EXCLUSIVE — The University of Lincoln anticipates the university shop will open the week commencing February 22nd, The Linc has learnt. “There has been a slight delay as a result of changes to the design and layout,” says John Plumridge, the director of estates and commercial facilities.
“The relocation of the university shop is a key element of a wider MAB (Main Academic Building) refit and refurbishment programme that is in turn an important component of the wider university campus planning process that is currently underway,” Plumridge said.
Chris Charnley, president of the Students’ Union, said: “The Union broadly welcomes the announcement that the ‘Uni Shop’ has been given the green light again.” He claims he pursued the issue on a senior level.
“However, we are unhappy at the way in which the situation has been handled by the university and we shall be looking into how this announcement affects students,” Charnley told The Linc.
The sudden turn of events comes after a heated debate over who actually had the decision power to move the university shop from the Library building to the Atrium. Charnley told The Linc earlier in the week that he was involved in the process, yet he was powerless to decide whether the move would actually happen.
The story goes back to September 2009, when the SU were proudly promoting the shop’s move to the university’s Main Academic Building for January 2010. But news broke that the university shop opening would be delayed , and Charnley told The Linc: “The university told me September, but you have to look at the fact that they told me it would be January .”
Though Charnley was happy to take the credit for the shop’s move in September 2009, he passed the blame for the delay onto the university. The Linc has consistently pointed out that the university controls all aspects related to its facilities, and that the SU has minimal influence on such decisions, if any.
It was previously believed that the funds meant for the university shop was being put towards the Business and Law Faculty (BLF) building, which is delayed until sometime after Christmas 2010, sources told The Linc.
However, on Thursday, the university denied that there is a lack of funding for the redevelopment of the building. Professor Scott Davidson, pro vice-chancellor for external affairs, said: “Funding for the [BLF] building is, and always has been, secure. There was never any question that the resources required by the original project proposal would not be available to complete the removal of the faculty from its current locations to the new building.”
— Additional reporting from Shane Croucher, Daniel Ionescu, and Rob WellsTweet