An innovative science garden and £200,000 catering revamp have been unveiled at Wrexham Glyndwr University, along with a teaser of plans to improve the overall campus.
The improvements form the early stages of the University’s Campus 2025 programme – an extensive project which will feature new student accommodation, car parking, upgraded academic and research rooms and transfiguration of buildings, including the main entrance.
The new catering facilities were overhauled by food services company Aramark and include outlets providing global brands Costa Coffee, Starbucks and Grumpy Mule, a food court, refurbished coffee bars and an overhaul of the cafeteria at the School of Creative Arts on Regent Street.
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Aramark is set to further enhance the student experience through promotions and value meal deals, using social media and a collaborative approach with the Students’ Union to drive satisfaction and participation as well as investing in a brand new IPOS system to support quick payment methods.
They will also be supporting the University in encouraging the local community to use the facilities and developing a strategy to improve hospitality on-site.
Opening the new United Kitchen food court with Wrexham AM Lesley Griffiths and MP Ian Lucas, Vice-Chancellor Professor Maria Hinfelaar said: “The cornerstone of our vision and strategy is to improve the student experience; this involves the transformation of the learning and social environment outlined in our newly launched Campus 2025 strategy.
“We have started that rollout with our catering provision, as catering is a crucial part of student and campus life and we recognised that we must provide the services, products and brands that students now expect.”
She added: “Aramark joined the Wrexham Glyndwr family in August and from then on it was all systems go. Over the summer, an extensive refurbishment programme and staff training took place across all outlets.
“New high street brands such as Costa, Starbucks and Grumpy Mule have been introduced together with a range of new market tested food concepts that will bring excitement, appeal and moreover, support health and wellbeing of students and staff.”
Students’ Union President Travis Davies echoed her words and believes the refresh will attract more students and visitors on campus.
He said: “I am delighted to have worked very closely with Aramark and thank them for their hard work in ensuring all the outlets reflect the student feedback we have received over the past year.
“Prices are a lot more student friendly and the quality of food has been highly commended by students. The outlets are now all visually welcoming and having different coffee in every outlet ensures that there is enough for students to choose from.
“Aramark are constantly listening to student feedback and making positive changes as a result so we know as a Students’ Union that this close relationship will continue to last.”
Professor Hinfelaar then joined Iwan Thomas, Chair of the Board of Trustees to the charitable company North Wales Science, in unveiling a science garden at Techniquest Glyndwr.
The £33,000 plot was funded by numerous organisations and built by volunteers over 400 hours. It features a plastic bottle greenhouse, raised planting areas and a pond.
The full Campus 2025 modernisation programme is being overseen by educational design specialists, DAY Architectural.
The company is looking forward to redeveloping the Mold Road site, beginning with student accommodation in 2018, the top image being a proposed design for a new glass atrium and two floor extension.
A spokesman said: “We have been working the University for the last two years with their aspirations for remodelling and redevelopment of both the Plas Coch and Regent Street Campuses.
“DAY and the wider consultant team are pleased to be involved in the Campus 2025 project, which will transform these sites into contemporary and attractive learning environments for the 21st century.”
Lynda Powell, Director of Operations at Wrexham Glyndwr University, added: “The improvements to our catering provision are just the first step, it’s definitely a case of ‘watch this space’ as there is much more to come as we further develop the campus here in Wrexham.”