Union statement on Robbins Centre

Read the details of our update on the Union's bar and catering services.

text which reads union statement on Robbins centre alongside Students' Union logo

After significant consideration, the Students’ Union has decided to transfer the running of its bar and catering services, collectively known as Robbins to the University. The University will deliver services through Stirling Hotel Services Ltd which currently run all catering services on campus. The agreement, which will initially run for five years from 1 June 2024, will see the venue maintained as a space for Students’ Union, society and student events.

In September 2023 the Union’s upstairs bar and kitchen were forced to close due to the presence of Reinforced Autoclaved Aerated Concrete (RAAC). While elements of our services were able to relocate downstairs, this closure has had a monumental impact on our ability to trade effectively.

As well as the building closure, the Robbins, like many other campus and high street student venues, has been unable to compete in current operating conditions and we have faced increasingly difficult decisions in the light of rising product costs and ever tighter margins.

Far from providing additional funding to support and enhance the student experience, it has sadly been an increasing financial risk, putting in danger key services that the Students’ Union delivers, such as funding for societies, sports and academic representation.

Due to the long-running and continuing downward trend in our trading circumstance, the Trustee Board has had a difficult decision to make in terms of what services we are able to offer which will benefit the majority of our members. We also have a legal responsibility to ensure funding is used in a way that best meets our charitable objectives.

As part of a legal TUPE (Transfer of Undertakings Protection of Employment) process, all jobs are maintained and there will be no redundancies. Where Robbins currently holds student jobs, these shall continue to be delivered by student staff and where future additional casual employment opportunities arise, Stirling students will be prioritised for these posts. On top of this, the venue will continue to enhance the Stirling student experience with students being able to book the space as they need throughout semester.

Looking ahead, the Students’ Union and University will work together in a Robbins Partnership Forum to ensure the best possible Stirling student experience.